Presentation #300.05 in the session “Dynamical Formation of Gravitational Wave Sources”.
Gravitational waves have now led to the discovery of nearly 100 compact object mergers. These novel observations encode important information about their progenitor stellar systems, such as the types of galactic environments they were born in, the intricacies of stellar evolution that persisted throughout their lives, and the physics of the supernovae that marked their deaths. In this talk, I will discuss the broad array of compact binary formation channels that have been proposed, and how the full population of gravitational-wave events hints at a combination of channels contributing to the observed population. I will also highlight some of the implications of observing gravitational-wave events with distinguishing characteristics, such as orbital eccentricity, and how such characteristics will be key in determining the dominant formation channel(s) of merging black holes.