Authors: Jeremy D. Schnittman
Date: 15 Oct 2010
Abstract: During the final moments of a binary black hole (BH) merger, the gravitational wave (GW) luminosity of the system is greater than the combined electromagnetic output of the entire observable universe. However, the extremely weak coupling between GWs and ordinary matter makes these waves very difficult to detect directly. Fortunately, the inspiraling BH system will interact strongly--on a purely Newtonian level--with any surrounding material in the host galaxy, and this matter can in turn produce unique electromagnetic (EM) signals detectable at Earth. By identifying EM counterparts to GW sources, we will be able to study the host environments of the merging BHs, in turn greatly expanding the scientific yield of a mission like LISA.
© M. Vallisneri 2012 — last modified on 2010/01/29
Tantum in modicis, quantum in maximis