Astronomy Colloquium

Dr. Steinn Sigurdsson from Pennsylvania State University will be presenting on Wednesday, February 15th in the Sears Library Bldg, room 552, from 3:00 to 4:00pm, “How black holes get their kicks: dynamical evolution and coalescence.”

Recent observations have increased interest in the possibilities of a significant population of black hole binaries in the local universe. Natal kicks may play a crucial role in the merger rate of stellar mass black holes. Dynamical evolution can lead to an enhanced interaction rate for compact binaries in dense stellar systems and a distinct and richer population of compact binaries.

Sigurdsson will discuss some of the issues related to black hole binary formation and coalescence, and the issue of retention in globular clusters. He will speculate on some possible signatures that might distinguish the cluster black holes from the field population.