Einstein’s theory of general relativity reimagines gravity as a consequence of the curvature of spacetime caused by matter rather than an attractive force between objects with mass. In his theory, moving masses can cause wave-like oscillations in spacetime called gravitational waves. Gravitational waves are important to scientists because they carry vital information about gravitating sources.

Gravitational waves were first detected by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) in the Fall of 2015.  These waves originated in the collision of two colliding black holes 1.3 billion lightyears away.  In addition to coalescing black hole binaries, LIGO is also sensitive to binaries consisting of neutron stars.  Encoded within the gravitational waves from these collisions is information about their source that might otherwise have remained a mystery.

Leslie is a member of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration.  His research includes searching for gravitational waves from massive black hole binary systems. He also works on estimating the source parameters of binary neutron-star systems in an effort to determine the neutron-star equation of state.

Areas of Expertise

Gravitational-wave physics, astrophysics and computational physics.


2015 — Doctor of Philosophy from Univ of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

2009 — Bachelor of Science from Bates College

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