Time: Thursday 2 April 2015 – 1:00pm
Place: New Horizons (Building 82), Theatre G29 (map)
Searching for gravitational waves with Advanced LIGO
Dr Eric Thrane, Monash University
The LIGO experiment seeks to detect gravitational waves—minute ripples in the fabric of spacetime caused by some of the most energetic events in the universe. Commissioning of the newly upgraded Advanced LIGO is well underway, and we expect our first science quality data later this year. Advanced LIGO will see gravitational-wave sources ten times further than the previous initial LIGO experiment, facilitating the detection of potentially dozens of events every year. The coming era of gravitational-wave astronomy will yield important results for astrophysics, cosmology, and fundamental physics. In this talk, I will describe the status of Advanced LIGO commissioning and review some the astrophysical sources we hope to detect. I will focus, in particular, on stochastic backgrounds and assess the prospects for Advanced LIGO to detect gravitational waves from the early Universe.