Title: Testing Einstein’s Equivalent Principle with Fast Radio Bursts and the Problem of Detecting Electromagnetic Waves from Merging Black Holes
Speaker: Prof. Shuang-Nan Zhang (张双南研究员 IHEP/CAS)
Time: 3 PM, Dec. 22 (Thursday)
Location: Lecture Hall, 3rd floor
Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs) are extremely short, but intensive radio bursts, believed to originate at cosmological distances. Wei et al (2015) used FRBs to make the so far most stringent tests on Einstein’s Equivalent Principle (EEP). I propose to use FRBs to be found behind clusters of galaxies to provide significant improvement on testing EEP. On a totally different topic, I will discuss the problem of detecting electromagnetic waves from merging black holes. Based on self-consistent calculations of general relativity, we proved that matter cannot accumulate outside the event horizon of a black hole, even clocked by an external observer, contrary to the original claim by Oppenheimer and Snyder (1939) in their classical and seminal paper on black hole formation. We thus predicted (Liu and Zhang 2009) that merging BHs can only produce gravitation waves, but no electromagnetic waves, as proved by recent LIGO results. Finally, I will present the status of the POLAR gamma-ray burst polarimetry onboard China’s Tiang-Gong 2 spacelab, launched on Sept.14, 2016, as well as the prospect of detecting gamma-ray bursts with the Hard X-ray Modulation Telescope, to be launched in June 2017.