28-29 November, 2019

The direct detection of gravitational waves in 2015 opened a new window for us astronomers to explore the Universe. Since then, astronomy entered a new era. Through this window, we have now detected stellar-mass binary black holes, discovered a population of very massive black holes that had never been seen before, and we testified the validity of general relativity in a regime of extremely strong gravity. By joining the observations of electromagnetic and gravitational waves, we have also established the correlation between neutron star mergers and short gamma-ray bursts, constrained the equation of state of neutron stars to an unprecedentedly high accuracy, and measured in a completely independent way the Hubble constant of the local universe. In the next few years, along with the steady upgrade of the ground-based detectors and continuous operation of the pulsar timing arrays, new discoveries will certainly come and, moreover, new technologies will become ripe.

The rapid development in gravitational wave observation is creating a paradigm shift in astrophysics. In this time of imminent breakthrough, the Kavli Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics at Peking University will host the forum “The Future of Gravitational Wave Astrophysics” during 28-29 November 2019. This forum will provide a platform for researchers inside China and abroad to exchange ideas and collaborate in the following fields:

  1. Gravitational wave experiments
  2. Electromagnetic counterparts
  3. Astrophysics
  4. Fundamental physics and cosmology

The forum will feature the following open questions:

  1. What are the most important/difficult questions/problems in the gravitational-wave era?
  2. How would the relevant questions/problems be addressed by gravitational-wave and electromagnetic-wave observations in the next two years, five years, ten years, twenty years?
  3. Are there science/technology cases which are underappreciated currently but have great potential to grow into one of the main themes of the future gravitational-wave research?
  4. What are the prospects for promoting interdisciplinary sciences?

Place: Kavli Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Peking University