The Physics & Astronomy Colloquium Series presents Duncan Brown from Syracuse University of New York on “Gravitational Waves: A New Frontier in 21st Century Astronomy” on Friday, February 17, at 4:10 p.m. in Walter 245.
Abstract: On September 14, 2015 the two detectors of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) simultaneously observed gravitational waves from a binary black hole merger. The gravitational waves observed match the waveform predicted by general relativity for the inspiral and merger of a pair of black holes and the ringdown of the resulting single black hole. This is the first direct detection of gravitational waves and the first observation of a binary black hole merger. A second binary black hole merger was observed on December 26, 2015 confirming that the field of gravitational-wave astronomy has now been established. I will discuss LIGO’s discoveries and the future of the new field of gravitational-wave astronomy.