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Workshop / Seminar

Distinguished Colloquium: Physics & Astronomy – Michael Landry

Webster Physical Science Building, Pullman, WA 99163
Room 17
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About the event

The  Department of Physics and Astronomy invites all to a distinguished colloquium featuring Dr. Michael Landry, LIGO Hanford Observatory. Dr. Landry will present his talk, “Gravitational Waves in 2019 and Beyond.

Please meet our guest speaker at a reception to follow, 5–6 p.m.  in the foyer on floor G above the lecture hall.

Abstract: The recent release of the first catalogue of gravitational wave sources by the LIGO Scientific and Virgo Collaborations (Gravitational Wave Transient Catalog 1, or GWTC-1 [1]) brings the total of directly detected transient gravitational waves to eleven: ten binary black hole coalescences, and one neutron star merger.  These include the heaviest binary black hole merger yet detected, GW170729, whose constituents totaled over 85Msun and was observed from over 5 billion light years away, and the binary neutron star merger GW170817, followed up by approximately one third of the world’s professional EM astronomers.  In this talk we will i) review the LIGO experiment and observations including the four newly announced binary black hole mergers described in [1], ii) look at prospects for the near future, including the third LIGO-Virgo observation run O3, slated to begin in spring 2019 and include Open Public Alerts for transient sources and include the KAGRA detector in the late stages of the run, and finally iii) describe upgrades to the existing machine and future detectors LIGO Voyager and Cosmic Explorer.

[1], submitted to PRX


Biography: Michael Landry is the Head of LIGO Hanford Observatory (LHO), and a physicist with the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). Michael completed his Ph.D. at the University of Manitoba in strange quark physics (Brookhaven / TRIUMF) in 2000, after which he joined LIGO as a postdoctoral scholar with Caltech. Michael has worked on a number of diverse aspects of searches for gravitational waves from astrophysical sources, including LIGO interferometer calibration and commissioning, data analyses for spinning neutron stars, and the leading of the installation of Advanced LIGO at LHO 2010-2014. He was Detection Lead Scientist at the time of LIGO and Virgo’s first gravitational wave discoveries of binary black hole mergers in late 2015. In the fall of 2016 he became Observatory Head. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society.