Student Seminar

What can a neutron star collision reveal on the origin of heavy elements?

Fri, 26 Jan 2018 1:30 PM
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Student Seminar
What can a neutron star collision reveal on the origin of heavy elements?

Laurent Bergeron
Dept of Physics, SFU

Jan 26, 2018 at 1:30pm in P8445.2

Synopsis

Since the beginning of its operation, the Light Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) confirmed the detection of five black-hole mergers. Last year, for the first time, a neutron star merger was spotted. A few seconds later, gamma-ray bursts from the same location were measured, confirming the gravitational wave (GW) detection and making it the first event to be detected both with GW and in the EM spectrum. In this talk, I will describe how the data collected from the optical transient in the days following the event can be used to deduce the amount of elements heavier than iron created by r-process nucleosynthesis. The results show that neutron star mergers are a significant source of r-processed heavy elements in the Universe.