Professor Walter Stibbs Lecture 2017 - LIGO, Gravitational Waves, and the Final Ballet of a Pair of Black Holes: The Birth of a New Kind of Astronomy
David Reitze, Executive Director of the LIGO Laboratory at the Caltech and a Professor of Physics at the University of Florida
Co-presented with Sydney Institute of Astronomy, School of Physics, Faculty of Science, the University of Sydney, the LIGO Scientific Collaboration, the Virgo Collaboration, and the U.S. National Science Foundation
On September 14, 2015, scientists from the LIGO Scientific Collaboration and the Virgo Collaboration observed the collision and fusion of the two black holes by directly measuring their gravitational waves. This detection came 100 years after Einstein developed the general theory of relativity that predicted gravitational waves, and 50 years after scientists began searching for them.
This discovery has truly profound implications, and opens a new window on the cosmos. Gravitational waves provide unique information on the most energetic astrophysical events, revealing insights into the nature of gravity, matter, space, and time. David Reitze will talk about how they made the detection and discuss how gravitational astronomy promises to change our understanding of the universe.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER:
David Reitze holds joint positions as the Executive Director of the LIGO Laboratory at the Caltech and a Professor of Physics at the University of Florida. He has authored 250 publications, and is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and the Optical Society. He is a member of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration that was awarded the 2016 Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics and the 2016 Gruber Foundation Cosmology Prize.