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Advanced LIGO status and prospects to probe the strong gravity regime

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Gravitational waves will allow scientists to test Einstein?s theory of General Relativity in the previously unexplored strong-field regime. Einstein?s theory of general relativity, as the most accepted theory of gravity, has been greatly constrained in the quasi-linear, quasi-stationary regime, where gravity is weak and velocities are small. Gravitational waves may carry information about highly dynamical and strong-field gravity that is required to generate measurable waves. Coalescing compact binaries are the most promising sources of gravitational waves accessible to ground-based interferometers, such as Advanced LIGO. Made of neutron stars and/or black holes that orbit each other hundreds of times a second just before they collide, the resulting waves are imprinted with information about the individual objects and the dynamical coalescence process. After reviewing the basic properties of gravitational waves, I will present an overview of the detector design and provide an update on the current status of Advanced LIGO and its ability to probe the strong gravity regime.