This series consists of talks in areas where gravity is the main driver behind interesting or peculiar phenomena, from astrophysics to gravity in higher dimensions.
I present an overview of how inspiral-merger-ringdown (IMR) waveforms are currently being used within LIGO and Virgo search efforts. I'll discuss search strategies from the two major astrophysics working groups within t he LIGO/Virgo collaboration searching for transient gravitational-wave signals - the Compact Binary Coalescence group and the Burst Group.
With the imminent detection of gravitational waves by ground-based interferometers, such as LIGO, VIRGO and TAMA, pulsar timing observations, and proposed space-borne detectors, such as LISA, we must ask ourselves: how much do we trust general relativity? The confirmation of general relativity through Solar System experiments and binary pulsar observations has proved its validity in the weak-field, where velocities are small and gravity is weak, but no such tests exist in the strong, dynamical regime, precisely the regime of most interest to gravitational wave observations.
The uncertainty in the equation of state of cold matter above nuclear density is notorious. Despite four decades of neutron-star observations, recent observational estimates of neutron-star radii still range from 8 to 16 km; the pressure above nuclear density is not known to better than a factor of 5; and one cannot yet rule out the possibility that the ground state of cold matter at zero pressure might be strange quark matter -- that the term "neutron star" is a misnomer for strange quark stars.