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Globular Clusters: Astronomical factories of gravitational-wave and electromagnetic transients

June 22, 2023

When: June 22, 2023 3:30PM
Where: LCO Downstairs Conference Room

Kyle Kremer

Caltech and Carnegie Observatories

Over the past few years, the groundbreaking detections of gravitational wave signals from merging binary black holes and neutron stars by LIGO/Virgo have opened a new window to the cosmos. One key question regarding these gravitational wave sources concerns the nature of their origin. Dynamical formation in dense stellar environments like globular clusters has emerged as an important formation channel, corroborated by recent numerical simulations and observational indications showing globular clusters contain dynamically significant populations of stellar-mass black holes throughout their lifetimes. In this talk, I will discuss ways compact object populations influence the dynamical evolution and observable properties of globular clusters. I will discuss the formation of merging black hole binaries that are detectable as gravitational wave sources and connect to a number of other sources observed recently in dense star clusters including black hole+star binaries, tidal disruption events, and fast radio bursts.

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Kyle Kremer

I’m a theoretical and computational astrophysicist currently working as a NASA Einstein Fellow at Caltech and Carnegie Observatories in Pasadena, California.

My research program builds connections between the fields of stellar dynamics and compact object astrophysics. My areas of expertise include N-body simulations of dense star clusters, detection of compact object binaries via gravitational waves (e.g., LIGO & LISA), and high-energy transient phenomena such as tidal disruption events and fast radio bursts. I have also worked on binary star evolution, hydrodynamics of stellar mergers, millisecond pulsars, intermediate-mass black holes, and X-ray binaries. You can read specifics about a few of my research projects here.

I grew up in Kettering, Ohio and attended Northwestern University for my undergraduate studies where I double majored in physics and music performance. After undergrad, I spent three years pursuing a career as an orchestral musician (earning a master of music degree at the Colburn School in Los Angeles in 2015) before ultimately returning to Northwestern where I completed my PhD in astronomy in 2019, advised by Fred Rasio. After finishing my PhD, I moved back to southern California and began my current position at Caltech/Carnegie.

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