Carnegie Mellon University

Astro Seminar

Searching for compact binaries in the gravitational-wave and optical time domain

Binary neutron star mergers provide one of the richest laboratories for studying physics with ground-based interferometric gravitational-wave detectors such as advanced LIGO and Virgo. After such a merger, a compact remnant is left over whose nature depends primarily on the masses of the inspiralling objects and on the equation of state of nuclear matter. We will discuss the search for post-merger signals from GW170817. In addition, we will describe ongoing searches for the detection of transients like

GW170817 in electromagnetic wavelengths. With the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF) recently achieving first light, it is now fruitful to use its unprecedented combination of depth, field of view, and survey cadence to perform Target of Opportunity observations. We will demonstrate on short gamma-ray bursts how it is possible to use this system to do follow-up on this scale. Finally, we will discuss the ongoing efforts to use ZTF and a new instrument at the Kitt Peak 2.1m to find and characterize white dwarf binaries.