International Conference on Gravitation and Cosmology (ICGC) 2015, IISER Mohali

Invited Speakers

Speaker Abstract About the speaker
Towards gravitational-wave astronomy The first direct detection of gravitational waves is anticipated in the next few years with the advent of the second-generation of interferometric gravitational-wave observatories. Focusing on the theoretical and observational aspects, this talk will try to give an overview of the efforts underway for the first detection as well as for the subsequent exploration of the Universe using this new window of astronomy. Parameswaran Ajith is a faculty member at the International Centre for Theoretical Sciences, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (ICTS-TIFR), Bangalore. He did his PhD at the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute) and held postdoc positions at the Albert Einstein Institute and California Institute of Technology before joining ICTS-TIFR. His research interests relate to various aspects of gravitational-wave physics and astronomy.
P. Ajith (ICTS, India)
Pijushpani Bhattacharjee (SINP, India) - -
Problem of motion in GR & Post-Newtonian theory. A huge world-wide experimental effort is currently aiming at detecting gravitational waves directly on Earth. The most powerful waves should be produced by binary systems of neutron stars or black holes when they collide together and merge. To be able to extract all the potential information from the signals, theorists must work hard and predict the details of gravitational wave emission, generation and back reaction on their source. In this talk we shall review the approximation methods in general relativity that have been developed to address these questions. The flagship of these methods is the post-Newtonian approximation whose state-of-the-art is now 4PN and describes the inspiral phase of compact binaries prior to merger.Numerical relativity has also succeeded in giving excellent predictions and is suitable for the final merger phase. The numerical results are matched to the analytic PN waveform yielding the beautiful first-principle prediction from GR. Prof. Luc Blanchet graduated from Ecole Polytechnique, Paris. He did his PhD from Universit\'e Pierre & Marie Curie, Paris and presently he is a Research Director at C.N.R.S. (1st class) at the Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris, France.
Luc Blanchet (Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris)
Silvia Galli (KICP, Chicago) - -
Nick Kaiser (IFA, Hawaii) - -
Shrinivas Kulkarni (Caltech) - -
Pulsars and Gravity Pulsars are extraordinarily good clocks, a property that has been exploited in a wide range of applications. Among the most important of these are exploring theories of gravitation and the quest for gravitational waves. Observations of binary pulsar systems have provided the most stringent tests of relativistic gravity in strong-field situations, confirming the accuracy of Einstein's general theory of relativity. Pulsar Timing Arrays (PTAs) can in principle give a direct detection of nanohertz gravitational waves. Up to now, there has been no detection of GWs but current limits are significantly constraining models for the evolution of supermassive black holes in the cores of distant galaxies. Current and future developments, including recent results and their astrophysical implications, progress on the International PTA, new receiving systems for existing telescopes and new telescopes, particularly FAST and the Square Kilometre Array, will be discussed. Dr Richard N. (Dick) Manchester grew up in New Zealand and moved to Australia in 1965 where he completed a PhD in ionospheric studies. He then moved into radio astronomy, working at the CSIRO Parkes radio telescope for 18 months before spending five years in the USA. He re-joined the CSIRO in 1974 where he is now an Honorary CSIRO Fellow. For most of his research career he has concentrated on pulsar studies. In 2003 he set up the Parkes Pulsar Timing Array project with the aim of detecting gravitational waves. In 1989 he was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science. He holds honorary professorships at several universities and has published about 450 papers in refereed journals.
Prof. R. N, Manchester (CSIRO, Australia)
Inflation after Planck I will review the implications for inflation of the recently released Planck CMB data. Prof. Jerome Martin did Ph.D from the University of Paris VI in 1996. He has been a member of CNRS since 1998. He first worked at the Meudon observatory and then moved to IAP in 2001. He has also done stints in in England at DAMTP, in Brazil at CBPF and in the US at Brown university.
Jerome Martin (Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris)
Jonathan McKinney (U. Maryland) (TBC) - -
Nergis Mavalvala (MIT) - -
Emergent Gravity Paradigm: Recent Progress There exists fairly strong evidence to suggest that the gravitational field equations in a large class of theories (including, but not limited to, general relativity) have the same status as the equations of, say, gas dynamics or elasticity. This paradigm provides a refreshingly different way of obtaining the spacetime dynamics and interpreting several features of classical gravitational theories. Recently it was shown that one could obtain this paradigm from a microscopic principle which incorporates Planck length as the zero point length of the spacetime. In this talk I will review the recent progress in this approach. Prof. T. Padmanabhan, is internationally renowned for his research contributions to the subjects of gravitation and cosmology. His work has won prizes six times in recent years from the Gravity Research Foundation, USA. Padmanabhan has authored nine advanced level textbooks, acclaimed as magnificent achievements and used worldwide as standard references. Padmanabhan was the Chairman of the Astrophysics Commission of the IUPAP, the President of the Cosmology Commission of the IAU and a Sackler Distinguished Astronomer of the Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge. He is an elected Fellow of all the three Science Academies of India as well as of the Third World Academy of Sciences (TWAS). He has received numerous national and international awards including the TWAS Prize in Physics, Infosys Prize in Physical Sciences, the Millennium Medal and the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Award. The President of India awarded him the Padma Shri, which is the fourth highest civilian honour in India, in 2007.
T. Padmanabhan (IUCAA)
Numerical simulations of binary black holes The last few years have seen astonishing progress in the numerical simulation of the inspiral and merger of two black holes. The results of these simulations are of high importance to gravitational wave detectors searching for binary black holes, and - once signals - have been identified - they will be instrumental to elucidate masses and spins of the merging black holes. Numerical simulations also help to understand Einstein's equations in the genuinely nonlinear and dynamic situations. This talk gives an overview of recent advances in black hole simulations and attempts to convey a flavor of the variety of problems being attacked by such simulations. We will close with a discussion of some of the outstanding problems. Dr. Pfeiffer is an Associate Professor at the University of Toronto, Canada, and holds the Canada Research Chair in Numerical Relativity and Gravitational Wave Astronomy. Dr. Pfeiffer performed his undergraduate work at the Universitšt Bayreuth (Germany) and at Cambridge University (UK). After his PhD at Cornell University (U.S.), Dr. Pfeiffer worked at the California Institute of Technology, first as a Sherman Fairchild Postdoctoral Scholar of Physics and subsequently as a Senior Postdoctoral Scholar of Physics.
Harald Pfeiffer (CITA, Toronto)
Undreamt by Einstein - Prospects and Challenges in Gravitational Wave Astronomy Advanced gravitational wave detectors, LIGO and Virgo, will begin to operate in September 2015, coinciding with the centenary of General Theory of Relativity. In my talk I will discuss opportunities provided by advanced detectors to probe fundamental physics, astrophysics and cosmology and the challenges that must be overcome in achieving those goals. In particular, I will focus on four topical areas of research: measuring the equation-of-state of neutron stars, testing general relativity and its alternatives, probing the geometry and dynamics of the Universe on very large scales and EM follow-up of gravitational wave events. Prof. B. Sathyaprakash is the head of the Gravitational Physics Group at Cardiff University - a centre for modelling astronomical sources of gravitational radiation, discovering innovative algorithms to search for this radiation and analysing data from gravitational-wave detectors using massive computer clusters. For over two decades he has been engaged in the worldwide effort to detect gravitational waves from cataclysmic cosmic events such as supernovae, merging binary neutron stars and black holes and the big bang. His research is focussed on observing gravitational radiation from black holes and neutron stars and using such observations to test strong field gravity, explore the nature of dark energy, infer the properties of neutron star cores and understand astrophysical properties of compact objects. He is the current chair of the Gravitational Physics Group of the Institute of Physics (UK). He has written a number of reviews on gravitational waves and speaks regularly at international conferences and workshops. In the past, he chaired the Working Group that developed the science case for the Einstein Telescope, was a member of the GWIC Roadmap Committee and helped write the science case for building LIGO-India.
B. Sathyaprakash (Cardiff U.)
Ashoke Sen (HRI) - -
Recent progress in understanding large-scale structure On-going and planned surveys will deliver percent precision measurements of large-scale clustering in the universe. I will review recent progress in our understanding of structure formation, highlighting neutrinos and galaxy bias, and point to a number of open problems. Ravi K Sheth is a Professor of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Pennsylvania. He works at the interfaces of theory and observation, galaxy formation and cosmology, stochastic process modeling and astrophysics.
Ravi Sheth (U. Pennsylvania)
Ravi Subrahmanyan - -
Integrability in two-dimensional gravity Gravity and supergravity theories become integrable systems for solutions that effectively only depend on two variables. We explore this integrability structure with a focus on developing an inverse scattering method that allows to systematically construct solutions of this integrable system. Using this approach we present an inverse scattering construction of a fuzzball. Dr. Amitabh Virmani did his PhD from UC Santa Barbara from 2003-2008. From 2008 to 2011 he was associated to the International Solvay Institutes in Brussels (Belgium) as a postdoctoral researcher. From 2011-2012 he worked at the Albert Einstein Institute in Potsdam (Germany) as a Junior Scientist. In Dec 2012 I joined Institute of Physics Bhubaneshwar.
Amitabh Virmani (IOP Bhubaneswar, India)