I am an assistant professor working at the Institute of Mathematics, Astrophysics and Particle Physics at Radboud University, Nijmegen, the Netherlands. I am the group leader for the Radboud Virgo Gravitational Wave group (one of the two gravitational wave groups in the NL), which works within the Virgo Collaboration together with the LIGO Scientific Collaboration.
My current research focuses on the detection, measurement and interpretation of gravitational waves, the astrophysics of compact object (black holes, neutron stars and white dwarfs) binaries, and general relativity. In particular, over the past decade+, I have studied how black holes are formed, via the merger of pairs of neutron stars and black holes, using both their gravitational wave (GW) and electromagnetic radiation.
NEWS!!! I am absolutely delighted to be part of the discovery of GW170817, a binary neutron star merger detected in both gravitational waves and electromagnetic waves. I was thrilled to be part of the small paper writing team for the discovery paper which was co-authored by the LIGO Scientific Collaboration and Virgo Collaboration and 70 electromagnetic groups (> 3000 coauthors): “Multi-messenger Observations of a Binary Neutron Star Merger.” In addition, I am a co-author of the several LIGO-Virgo Scientific Collaboration papers on the event and on the Science papers for the GROWTH collaboration and the discovery of the radio counterpart of GW170817.
[Credit: LIGO Labs]
With this in mind, I am particularly excited about BlackGEM, the optical wide-field telescope array that will be located in Chile (La Silla): it will be dedicated to observing the light from compact object mergers as they form black holes! Radboud University is leading its development and its first light is aimed for early 2017.
After 100 years since Einstein first predicted the existence of gravitational waves and following more than 50 years of intense experimental and theoretical research, we observed in September 2015 for the first time a binary black hole merger via its gravitational radiation using the LIGO detectors — amazing ground-based gravitational wave detectors located in the US. At the end of 2016, the Virgo detector in Italy will also become operational!
Space music: Listen to some samples of merging black holes and neutron stars created by composer and friend Arthur Jeffes.
Email: samaya ‘at’ astro.ru.nl
Phone: +31 (0)24 3652804
Office: Huygens Building 02.066
Department of Astrophysics,
6525 AJ Nijmegen,