Prof. Edo Berger (Harvard Univ.) visit our group and give colloquium speech

Sep 23, 2011

“Short GRBs:  Environments, Afterglows, and Prospects for Gravitational Wave Detections”

The bimodality of GRB durations points to distinct progenitor classes.  While the progenitors of long GRBs are now known to be massive stars, the progenitors of short GRBs remain unidentified.  In this talk I will discuss the discovery of short GRB afterglow and host galaxies, detailed studies of their environments from parsec to galactic scales, and initial studies of their afterglows. 

Taken together, these observations point to NS-NS binary mergers as the likely progenitors.  With the upcoming Advanced LIGO it is therefore possible that short GRBs will be the first detected sources, and I will discuss approaches to make this connection.