Talks by Aaron Zimmerman

A recipe for echoes from exotic compact objects

Aaron Zimmerman Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics (CITA)

Gravitational wave astronomy provides an unprecedented opportunity to test the nature of black holes and search for exotic, compact alternatives. Recent studies have shown that exotic compact objects (ECOs) can ring down in a manner similar to black holes, but can also produce a sequence of distinct pulses resembling the initial ringdown. These “echoes” would provide definite evidence for the existence of ECOs. In this work we study the generation of these echoes in a generic, parameterized model for the ECO, using Green’s functions.

Black hole ringdown and quasinormal modes

Aaron Zimmerman Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics (CITA)
The first detection of gravitational waves came with an unexpected windfall: a clear signal from the merger of two black holes into a final, spinning black hole. General Relativity predicts that following merger, the final black hole relaxes by emitting radiation in a characteristic spectrum of decaying modes. I will discuss these ``quasinormal modes'' and what can be learned from them, as well as the black hole ringdown observed in GW150914.

Quasinormal modes of rapidly rotating black holes/ Stability of tidally perturbed neutron stars

Aaron Zimmerman Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics (CITA)
I will review recent work in two very different topics. First, I will discuss the quasinormal mode spectrum of nearly extremal Kerr black holes, where a bifurcation of the frequency spectrum is observed. In addition, collective oscillations of many modes is possible, resulting in a power-law rather than exponentially decaying ringdown. Next, I will discuss a recent proposal for how tidally induced, multimode coupling of normal modes in neutron stars can destabilize the stars. Such an instability could hamper gravitational wave detection of neutron star binaries by matched filtering.