Abstract:- Gravitational bending of light was the first observational test that heralded the remarkable success of Einstein’s general theory of relativity. In the last few decades, gravitational lensing of light has emerged as a powerful tool for astronomy. Gravitational waves (GWs) are also expected to be lensed similar to light. Dozens of GW signals from coalescing compact binaries have been observed by LIGO and Virgo so far. In the next few years, thousands of such observations are expected. Some of these GWs will be lensed by intervening mass distributions (such as galaxies, clusters, or compact objects), providing a new powerful tool for astronomy. This talk will summarize the prospects of detecting lensing signatures in GWs and will discuss some of the potential new probes such observations will enable.
About the Speaker:- Parameswaran Ajith is an astrophysicist at the International Centre for Theoretical Sciences (ICTS), Bangalore. His research spans various aspects of gravitational-wave physics and astronomy. He has been a member of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration since 2004. Ajith has been a Ramanujan Fellow, a CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar, and the head of the Max Planck Partner Group on Astrophysical Relativity at ICTS. As a member of the team that discovered gravitational waves, he is the recipient of the 2016 Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics and the 2016 Gruber Cosmology Prize. Ajith recently received the inaugural TWAS-CAS Young Scientists Award for Frontier Science by The World Academy of Sciences.