In this talk, I discuss how methods and ideas borrowed from quantum chromodynamics (QCD), the gauge field theory of the strong nuclear interactions, can be used to understand the physics of black hole and neutron star merger events such as the ones recently detected by advanced LIGO. I begin by reviewing the results obtained by the LIGO and VIRGO gravitational wave interferometers in the last few years, and explain the necessity of constructing high precision theoretical waveform templates in order to take full advantage of the LIGO signals. I then discuss a framework, based on methods originally introduced to describe the dynamics of heavy quark bound states in QCD, to streamline the high precision analytical calculation of gravitational radiation from compact binaries in the adiabatic inspiral regime. In the last part, I report on a set of newly discovered relations between classical radiating color sources in gauge theory and black hole bound states in gravity. This work builds on and generalizes recent dualities between quark-gluon scattering amplitudes in QCD and the S-matrix of (low energy) quantum gravity, and has the potential to vastly simplify our understanding of general relativity in the perturbative regime.

Host: Charles Baltay

Tea after the talk in Sloane Physics Lab, 3rd Floor Lounge