On August 14 of 2019 the Laser Interferometric Gravitational Observatory, LIGO, observed the merger of two massive objects by detecting the gravitational waves emitted as the orbit of these objects decayed until they collided. Yet the most thrilling aspect of this event, known as GW190814, is that the observations of event determined that mass of one of these objects was 2.6 solar masses making it either the heaviest known neutron star or the lightest known black hole. Either of these possibilities is very exciting to astrophysicists and in this talk we will discuss the implications of both possibilities.
Prof. Swesty received his PhD in Physics from SUNY Stony Brook in 1993. He spent six years at the University of Illinois as a postdoctoral researcher and as a Visiting Assistant Professor. He returned to Stony Brook in 1999 where he is currently a Research Associate Professor. His work focuses on nuclear astrophysics and computational astrophysics.