The New York Academy of Sciences
Insights into Gravitational Wave Astronomy
Posted June 22, 2020
With the first direct observation of gravitational waves announced in February 2016, astrophysics has entered a new era. In this eBriefing, experts review new insights obtained from gravitational wave detections, with emphases on the origin of heavy chemical elements in the universe, and the hints for understanding the nature of gravity and the expansion of the universe.
In This eBriefing, You’ll Learn
- How are gravitational waves generated in the universe and detected on Earth?
- What kind of cosmological events produced very heavy chemical elements such as gold?
- What other types of signals are emitted by the events that generated gravitational waves?
- What information we can extract by analyzing gravitational waves and their electromagnetic counterparts?
- What new physical information can we expect from next generation gravitational wave experiments?
Brian D. Metzger, PhD
Brian D. Metzger is an associate professor at Columbia University in the Department of Physics. His research covers a wide range of topics in theoretical high energy astrophysics, mostly related to compact objects, nucleosynthesis (astrophysical origin of the elements), and the electromagnetic counterparts of gravitational wave sources. The theoretical models he developed successfully explained the electromagnetic light which accompanied the first detection in 2017 of gravitational waves from the merger of two neutron stars. Dr. Metzger earned his BS from the University of Iowa and his PhD in physics from the University of California, Berkeley.
Andrew Levan, PhD
Andrew Levan’s present research interests focus on the electromagnetic counterparts to gravitational wave sources. He led a major collaborative effort around the discovery and characterization of the first such event in August 2017. He also maintains strong research interests in gamma-ray bursts and supernovae, and seeks to understand the pathways that create these events and to deploy them as probes of the universe. Andrew is currently Professor of Astrophysics at Radboud University, the Netherlands. He received his master and doctorate degrees from the University of Leicester, UK. Before 2019, he was a Professor of Astronomy at the University of Warwick, UK.