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Colloquium | Physics Colloquium | Physics Division

GW170817: Hearing and Seeing a Binary Neutron Star Merger

PHY Colloquium

Abstract: With the discovery of GW170817 in gravitational waves, the discovery of an associated short gamma-ray burst, and the discovery of an associated optical afterglow, we have finally entered the era of gravitational-wave multi-messenger astronomy. We will discuss LIGO/Virgo’s detection of this binary coalescence and focus on some of the scientific implications, including insight into the origin of gold and platinum in the universe, tests of black holes and general relativity, elucidation of the formation mechanisms for black holes and neutron stars, and the first standard siren measurement of the Hubble constant.