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Gravitational-Wave Astrophysics: Progress and Puzzles

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Following the first gravitational-wave detection of a binary black-hole merger more than five years ago, we now consider such detections routine and we are focusing on extracting astrophysical information from a rapidly growing number of sources, including neutron star mergers. Our measurements of masses, spins, and luminosity distances combined provide unique probes of the origins of binary compact objects, while certain discoveries continue to surprise us with their unexpected physical properties challenging our current understanding. In this talk I will summarize where our understanding stands at present, highlight some exceptional sources of interest, and discuss what we can anticipate for the future.

This talk is part of the The Kavli Lectures series.

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