Current and future prospects in gravitational-wave detection and astrophysics

To date six gravitational-wave signals have been detected, five from the merger of black holes and one from the collision of neutron stars. These observations have provided unique insights into the neutron star equation of state, tests of general relativity and the origin of short gamma-ray bursts, to name a few. None of this would have been possible without the technological advancements that went in to constructing the second-generation gravitational-wave interferometers, Advanced LIGO and Virgo. As the detectors are upgraded to design sensitivity, the future observing runs of Advanced LIGO and Virgo promise to open the gravitational-wave sky even further. In this colloquium I will discuss the operation of the gravitational-wave detectors and the global detector network. I will also discuss the proposed future upgrades, the observing prospects over the next few years and the exciting astrophysics yet to be uncovered.