The electromagnetic precursor of binary black hole mergers

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Galaxy mergers, which are a natural consequence of hierarchical assembly of galaxies, are expected to produce binary black holes, which subsequently merge. The detection and analysis of gravitational waves from these sources is the major aim of the next generation gravitational wave detector: LISA, the Laser Interferometric Space Antenna. These gravitational waves encode a tremendous amount of information, but to make the connection with astrophysics and cosmology, it is necessary to identify the galaxies hosting these mergers via the associated electromagnetic counterpart to these mergers. I will describe these mergers events and discuss the various regimes where potential electromagnetic counterparts can be found. I will also describe some recent work, which holds much promise for the prompt identification of these mergers -- an electromagnetic precursor from tidal forcing.