Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .

Subscribe free to our newsletters via your

Exploring Colliding Black Holes and Neutron Stars
by Staff Writers
Hannover, Germany (SPX) Mar 01, 2017

Frank Ohme (right) with the colleagues of his newly established independent Max Planck research group. Image courtesy B. Knispel/Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics.

In January 2017 - just one year after the dawn of gravitational-wave astronomy - the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute, AEI) has expanded through the addition of a young research team.

Led by Dr. Frank Ohme, the Max Planck Independent Research Group "Binary Merger Observations and Numerical Relativity" will study collisions of black holes and neutron stars through sophisticated computer simulations, exploring some the fundamental questions in the new field of gravitational-wave astronomy over the next five years.

"When the LIGO instruments detected gravitational waves for the first time on September 14, 2015, we quickly knew that black holes were the source of the signal," says Dr. Frank Ohme, leader of the Max Planck Independent Research Group.

"This was only possible because we knew the shape of such signals from theoretical predictions - solutions of Einstein's equations." These equations determine how black holes warp the spacetime around them and thus emit gravitational waves that can be observed with detectors such as LIGO, Virgo, and GEO600.

Simulating Gravitational Waves in the "Holodeck"
However, the equations are so complicated that the most violent (and most interesting) part of the collision can only be understood by large-scale simulations on supercomputers. To extract every quantum of scientific information from the faint signals, a handful of groups around the world are performing increasingly complex numerical simulations.

The newly established Max Planck Independent Research Group at the AEI is one of them. Its researchers operate the computer cluster "Holodeck" for their compute-intensive simulations. "Holodeck" consists of 680 CPU cores connected with a fast InfiniBand network.

"Our goal is to develop models to improve our understanding of black-hole merger dynamics and allow us to observe fascinating phenomena such as precessing binaries or black-hole 'kicks.'" explains Ohme.

In addition to more gravitational waves from colliding black hole binaries, merging double neutron stars are next on the list of most anticipated future detections. Neutron stars are compact remnants from supernova explosion that contain more mass than our Sun in a sphere of only 20 kilometers in diameter.

Ohme's Max Planck Research Group will harness numerical simulations to shed light on the behaviour of extremely dense neutron-star matter. "Nobody knows exactly how matter behaves under the extreme conditions inside neutron stars. By combining our simulations with future observations of gravitational waves from colliding neutron stars we will get entirely new insights into these fascinating objects," says Ohme.

At the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics in Hannover, Ohme's group closely collaborates with the division "Observational Relativity and Cosmology" led by Prof. Bruce Allen, the institute's Managing Director. "I am very happy that Frank Ohme has chosen our institute in Hannover as host institution for his Max Planck Independent Research Group," says Allen. "This strengthens and broadens our research and positions us even better in the new era of gravitational-wave astronomy."

Frank Ohme (born 1983) studied physics at the Friedrich-Schiller University in Jena, Germany, and researched for his PhD between 2009 and 2012 at the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute, AEI) in Potsdam. His dissertation focused on the interface of numerical-relativity simulations and data analysis in gravitational-wave research.

After a short stint as post-doctoral researcher at the AEI in Hannover, he was a researcher at the School of Physics and Astronomy at Cardiff University until the end of 2016. Since the start of 2017 he has been leading the Max Planck Independent Research Group "Binary Merger Observations and Numerical Relativity" at the AEI in Hannover.

Stars Regularly Ripped Apart by Black Holes
Sheffield UK (SPX) Feb 27, 2017
Astronomers based at the University of Sheffield have found evidence that stars are ripped apart by supermassive black holes 100 times more often than previously thought. Until now, such stellar cannibalism - known as tidal disruption events, or TDEs - had only been found in surveys which observed many thousands of galaxies, leading astronomers to believe they were exceptionally rare: only ... read more

Related Links
Max Planck Institute For Gravitational Physics
Understanding Time and Space

Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly

paypal only

Comment on this article using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

India has capability to develop space station, says top official

Orion spacecraft achieves key safety milestone

Marshall shakes, packs, ships and tracks NASA payloads

NASA and SpaceX gives ASU a competitive edge in technological innovation

Elon Musk: tech dreamer reaching for sun, moon and stars

SpaceX says it will fly civilians to the moon next year

ULA launches NROL-79 payload for NRO

Moon tourists risk rough ride, experts say

Martian Winds Carve Mountains, Move Dust, Raise Dust

NASA Orbiter Steers Clear of Mars Moon Phobos

Science checkout continues for ExoMars orbiter

Remnants of a mega-flood on Mars

China to launch space station core module in 2018

Thinking Big: China Hopes to Conduct 2nd Mission to Mars by 2030

China to Conduct Test Flight of CZ-8 Carrier Rocket by 2018

China to launch first high-throughput communications satellite in April

Turkey Moves Closer to Launching Own Space Agency

OneWeb, Intelsat merge to advance satellite internet

GomSpace to supply satellites for Sky and Space Global constellation

Kacific places order with Boeing for a high throughput satellite

NYU researchers coax colloidal spheres to self-assemble into photonic crystals

Sustainable ceramics without a kiln

Scientists demonstrate improved particle warning to protect astronauts

When Rocket Science Meets X-ray Science

Volcanic hydrogen spurs chances of finding exoplanet life

Evidence of Star Wars-like Planetary System

The missing link in how planets form

Hunting for giant planet analogs in our own backyard

Juno to remain in current orbit at Jupiter

Europa Flyby Mission Moves into Design Phase

NASA receives science report on Europa lander concept

New Horizons Refines Course for Next Flyby

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement