Symposium S5  2 - 3 July 2020

What have we learned from the observed population of gravitational wave sources?

Aims and scope

The discovery of the first gravitational-wave signal in 2015, coming from the merger of two massive stellar black holes, signified the dawn of the new era of gravitational wave astronomy. Two years later, the detection of the merger of two neutron stars by the LIGO/Virgo collaboration, and the subsequent observation of the event in the whole electromagnetic spectrum, from gamma-rays to radio, truly signified the birth of multimessenger astronomy. By the upcoming conclusion of the third science observing run of the LIGO and Virgo observatories, tens of binary black hole and several binary neutron star and black hole - neutron star merger events will have been observed.

Over the last 5 years, gravitational-wave astronomy has transformed from a field that hunted the one extraordinary event that proves the existence of gravitational waves to a field whose challenge is to accommodate and interpret a plethora of multimessenger transient events in the gravitational-wave sky. In this symposium, we will discuss what have we learned so far from the observed population of gravitational-wave sources and what are the implications regarding the stellar progenitors of gravitational-wave sources, kilonovae and more generally electromagnetic transients that accompany gravitational-wave events, nucleosynthesis, general relativity and nuclear physics.


The symposium will cover the following 5 broad topics:

  • Detection, parameter estimation and demographics of gravitational-wave sources
  • Formation of coalescing double compact objects
  • Observing electromagnetic counterparts of gravitational-wave sources
  • Modelling double neutron star and black hole - neutron star mergers: GW waveforms, lightcurves, spectra, nucleosynthesis and neutron-star equation of state
  • The future of gravitational-wave astronomy: advanced LIGO/Virgo, LISA, Einstein Telescope etc.

Invited speakers

  • Abbas Askar (Lund University)
  • Wen-fai Fong (Northwestern University)
  • Andreas Freise (University of Birmingham)
  • Kate Maguire (Trinity College Dublin)
  • Michela Mapelli (INAF-Padova)
  • Cole Miller (University of Maryland)
  • Albino Perego (University of Trento)
  • Enrico Ramirez Ruiz (UCSC / University of Copenhagen)
  • Elena Maria Rossi (Leiden University)
  • Patricia Schmidt (University of Birmingham)
  • Thomas Tauris (Aarhus University)

Scientific organisers

  • Tassos Fragos, University of Geneva (chair)
  • Stephen Justham, University of Amsterdam (co-chair)
  • Marica Branchesi, Gran Sasso Science Institute
  • Ilya Mandel, Monash University / University of Birmingham
  • Selma de Mink, Harvard University / University of Amsterdam


anastasios.fragkos @

Updated on Mon Jun 15 12:08:47 CEST 2020