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Friday, November 22, 2019
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Cahill 370

TAPIR Seminar

LISA Galactic Binaries in the WFIRST Microlensing Survey
Matthew C. Digman, Graduate Student, Department of Physics, Ohio State University,
Speaker's Bio:
I attended Dartmouth College where I graduated with high honors in physics. My undergraduate research with Professor Robert Caldwell focused on gravitational waves in anisotropic spacetimes. I am currently a fifth year PhD student in physics in the Center for Cosmology and AstroParticle Physics at The Ohio State University. My advisor is Professor Chris Hirata. I have worked on a broad range of topics, including forecasting super-sample covariance for weak lensing surveys, high cross section dark matter, and forecasting measurements possible with LISA. My current research interests include gravitational wave astronomy, dark matter direct detection, and weak gravitational lensing.

Short-period galactic white dwarf binaries detectable by LISA are the only guaranteed persistent sources for multi-messenger gravitational-wave astronomy.  Large-scale surveys in the 2020s present an opportunity to conduct preparatory science campaigns to maximize the science yield from future multi-messenger targets. The WFIRST microlensing survey will image seven fields in the galactic bulge approximately 40000 times each. Although the cadence is optimized for detecting exoplanets via microlensing, it is also capable of detecting eclipsing white dwarf binaries. I will present forecasts for the number of short-period binaries the WFIRST microlensing survey will discover and the implications for the design of electromagnetic surveys.

For more information, please contact JoAnn Boyd by phone at x4280 or by email at