What happens when compact objects, such as black holes and neutron stars, collide? What are the origins of the heaviest elements in the Universe? How do supermassive black holes at the centres of galaxies grow? These are some of the most fundamental questions in astrophysics. As Canada Research Chair in Multi-Messenger Astrophysics, Dr. John Ruan is trying to answer them.
He and his research team are using world-class telescopes to observe light from compact object mergers detected through gravitational waves and actively growing supermassive black holes that appear to fade away quickly. Their cutting-edge investigations are making use of multiple “cosmic messengers,” such as light and gravitational waves, to seek answers.