IPB Colloquium by Ken Herner

The IPB colloquium will be held on Wednesday, 25 April 2018 at 14:00 in the “Zvonko Marić” lecture hall of the Institute of Physics Belgrade. The talk entitled

"GW170817: Discovery of the optical counterpart of a neutron star merger with the Dark Energy Camera"

will be given by Dr. Ken Herner (Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory - Fermilab, USA).

Abstract of the talk:

August 17, 2017 witnessed the beginning of a new era in astronomy. A pair of neutron stars came together, emitting gravitational waves detected by the LIGO/Virgo collaboration, a gamma ray burst, and “kilonova”, visible across the electromagnetic spectrum. After LIGO sent an alert that they had a candidate event, teams around the world geared up to search for an electromagnetic counterpart to the LIGO trigger. One of these teams was DESGW, a collaboration between members of the Dark Energy Survey and the wider astronomical community. DESGW was one of several teams that independently discovered the optical counterpart about 11 hours after the LIGO trigger. We will describe the process of identifying the counterpart and what we are learning from this discovery, especially about the origins of heavy elements and the expansion of the universe. We will conclude with our plans for the next LIGO observing run later in 2018.