Dr. Michael Landry (LIGO) Lecture

March 05, 2016

"A New Window on the Universe"

Dr. Michael Landry for the LIGO and Virgo Scientific Collaborations. LIGO Hanford Observatory/Caltech.

On Sep 14, 2015, LIGO detected a faint rumbling in spacetime from the collision of two black holes, a cataclysmic event occurring more than a billion years ago. The two black holes merged to form a larger one, in the process releasing three times the mass of our sun in gravitational waves, in the shape of space. This energy release occurred in just a few tenths of a second, making this the most powerful astrophysical event ever observed by humans. None of the energy was released by light; black holes are black, and we need gravitational wave detectors to observe them.

In this talk, we will take a journey in time, beginning 1.3 billion years ago, following the passage of gravitational waves through the universe, to Earth, where they were detected by large, L-shaped interferometers called LIGO. This first direct detection of gravitational waves from deep space constitutes the opening of a new window on the universe: no longer will we be deaf to modulations of the medium of space that we live in.

This event is part of the Saturday Morning Lecture series sponsored by TRIUMF, SFU and UBC. Lectures are geared towards students and the general public. 

Saturday, March 5
10 am
SFU Surrey campus, Room 2600

FREE, everyone welcome. Please reserve your seat here

Free parking on level P3. Click here for more information.



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