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Friday 29th March 2019

This Friday guest speaker Floor Broekgaarden will give a talk entitled "Unpuzzling the origin of gravitational waves"

The direct detection of gravitational waves originating from merging binary black holes and neutron stars has opened up a new window into the Universe and has marked the birth of gravitational-wave astrophysics. The first gravitational-wave observing runs have been completed, yielding eleven merger events, and we can anticipate hundreds of detections per year when the next generation of detectors come online. This growing set of data will help Astrophysicists solve one of the biggest unanswered questions in the field: “what is the origin of these gravitational-wave mergers?”. In this (interactive) talk we will go through the current ideas of where these gravitational waves come from. We will also discuss some of the state-of-the-art machine-learning algorithms that are used by astronomers to solve this problem - which turn out to be similar to some well-known puzzle strategies.


Floor Broekgaarden graduated in 2018 with Masters in Astrophysics & Astronomy from the University of Amsterdam after completing a Bachelor degree in both Mathematics and Physics. She is currently working as an Astrophysicist at Monash University in Melbourne and will start her PhD this September at the Center for Astrophysics at Harvard! Floor's research focuses on gravitational waves, Finding out where they originate from. To solve this question she studies and uses different techniques of Machine Learning, Big Data and Statistics.


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