Event Details

From listening to black-hole collisions to discovering cosmic gold mines

  • 2018-03-14
  • Dr. Chandra Kant Mishra, Indian Institute of Technology Madras

Almost hundred years after Albert Einstein introduced the first formal theory of gravitational waves in 1916, the two LIGO detectors made their first detection of gravitational waves from the merger of two massive black holes; an event that took place about 1.3 billion years ago, emitting signals that reached earth on September 14, 2015. Late last year the discovery was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics. Since the first detection, gravitational wave observatories have detected signals from a handful of binary black hole system in addition to the first signals from the merger of two colliding neutron stars, which, like black holes binaries, are strong emitters of gravitational waves. This event was followed up and subsequently confirmed by a large number of telescopes around the world that studied various forms of electromagnetic radiation emitted during the merger, marking the true beginning of multi-messenger astronomy with gravitational waves. In this talk we aim to take a peek through the exciting developments that took place around the discovery events and get a glimpse of excitements the gravitational wave community and the greater physics and astronomy community has experienced in the post-first-detection era.

Chandra Kant Mishra is a theoretical physicist at the Department of Physics, IIT Madras. He received his masters degree in Physics from University of Delhi in 2007 and subsequently joined Indian Institute of Science for graduate studies. During his PhD he worked with Prof. Bala Iyer at Raman Research Institute on computing gravitational waveforms from compact binary sources and related data-analysis problems and received the doctoral degree in 2013. After a few years as a postdoc at IISER Trivandrum and ICTS-TIFR he joined IIT Madras as an assistant professor in 2016. His research interests primarily include: gravitational wave source modelling using perturbative and phenomenological approaches; testing general relativity and alternative gravity theories; and gravitational wave astrophysics.​