The Dynamical Strong-field Regime of General Relativity



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Recording Details

Speaker(s): 
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PIRSA Number: 
16060015

Abstract

In this talk I will discuss some of the consequences for our understanding of strong-field gravity that can be gleaned from the recent detection of gravitational waves by the LIGO/Virgo collaboration.
The event heard, GW150914, is consistent with the emission of gravitational waves from the late inspiral, merger and ringdown of two heavy stellar mass black holes. This has given us the first quantifiable pieces of evidence that the dynamics and properties of colliding black holes are governed by general relativity. At present certain exotic compact object alternatives to black holes within general relativity, such as boson stars or gravastars, cannot yet be ruled out due to lack of concrete predictions of the merger regime in such scenarios. However, I will argue that even if the progenitors of GW150914 where composed of such exotic matter, the gravitational wave data strongly suggests collision lead to the prompt formation of a Kerr black hole.