The Universe is full of siblings: most stars come in binaries (or even triples!), and most seem to play host to multiple planets. Sometimes, the siblings get along just fine, and sometimes they can get into rather heated interactions, which give rise to some of the most extreme and beautiful events in the cosmos, from gamma ray bursts to stellar disruptions. In this talk, I will discuss recent advances in probing astrophysical binaries at a variety of scales. I will talk about the exciting prospects for exploring the astrophysics of massive stellar binaries with gravitational-wave observations of the mergers, of their compact remnants, neutron stars and black holes. I will share some recent results in the study of populations of planets around other stars and I will talk about the potential of black holes to disrupt stars that get too close to them and the very intriguing observations of flares in the centres of distant galaxies which appear to be signatures of such disruptions.
Tea and coffee will be provided from 7pm in the Tea Room of the Poynting building
Lecture starts at 7.30pm