Gravity Seminar: Vijay Varma

(Albert Einstein Institute)

Title: Numerical relativity surrogates and recent applications for gravitational wave astronomy

Abstract: Data-driven methods like surrogate modeling can capture the full physics of binary black hole simulations, including complex effects like spin precession and recoil kicks. As our gravitational wave detectors continually improve, physically complete models are crucial to accurately extract valuable astrophysical information from signals of merging black holes. In this talk, I will present the latest advances in surrogate modeling, including an ongoing effort to extend these models to low-mass signals using information from post-Newtonian theory. In addition, I will present the latest constraints on kick and spin measurements from GWTC3, obtained using surrogate models. These results include the first individual event showing strong signs of precession and a large kick, along with the first individual event showing strong support for negative effective spin. Observational constraints on spins and kicks play an important role in understanding how black holes form in nature, which I will discuss briefly.