Motivated by the exciting prospect of new wealth of information arising from the first observations of gravitational and electromagnetic radiation from the same astrophysical phenomena, the Dark Energy Survey (DES) has performed a broad range follow-up program for LIGO/Virgo events using the Dark Energy Camera (DECam). In this talk, I present the discovery of the optical transient associated with the neutron star merger GW170817 using DECam and discuss its implications for the emerging field: multi-messenger cosmology with gravitational waves and optical data.
Marcelle Soares-Santos is an assistant professor at Brandeis University and formerly a research associate at the Fermilab Center for Particle Astrophysics. Her research focuses on uncovering the nature of the accelerated expansion of the universe using data from the largest sky surveys ever conducted. As a member of the Dark Energy Survey (DES) collaboration, she contributed to the construction of the Dark Energy Camera and leads the search program for optical counterparts of gravitational wave events using that camera. The program aims at establishing gravitational waves as a completely novel method to study cosmic acceleration in future surveys. She also contributes to the effort of measuring the cosmic acceleration using traditional methods such as galaxy clusters and weak gravitational lensing in DES.
Tea after the talk at 4:30 in Sloane Physics Lab 3rd Floor Lounge
Host: Sarah Demers