The observation of gravitational waves from 50 pairs of merging black hole and neutron star binaries by the LIGO-Virgo Collaboration offers the first glimpse of the potential to use these populations as tools to study the formation and evolution of compact objects and their stellar progenitors. However, even with dozens of mergers, the dominant formation pathways for merging compact-object binaries remains unconfirmed. Furthermore, even with third generation ground-based detectors, which could potentially discover merging binary black holes across all redshifts out to the epoch of reionization, such mergers only account for a tiny fraction of all black holes formed in the Universe. In this talk I will discuss opportunities to probe the formation environments and scenarios of compact objects using observations from ground- and space-based GW detectors with a particular focus on the complementary source information each detector provides. I will also discuss how GW populations play a role in the larger landscape of observations of compact objects in stellar binaries.


Talk Number PIRSA:21060067
Speaker Profile Katelyn Breivik