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Aletta Jacobshal
Blauwborgje 4, Zernike

Admission free

Ligo Hears the Sound of Colliding Black Holes

David Reitze

Gravitational waves detected: Einstein would be thrilled! David Reitze will talk about how he and his team made the detection and discuss how gravitational astronomy promises to change our understanding of universe. 

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 the gravitational waves emitted during the collision using the LIGO detectors. This detection comes 100 years after Einstein developed his revolutionary general theory of relativity that predicted their existence, and 50 years after scientists began searching for them. This discovery has truly profound implications. Gravitational waves provide unique information on the most energetic astrophysical events, revealing insights into the nature of gravity, matter, space, and time. We have opened a new window on the cosmos. February 11 2016, David Reitze, Executive Director of the LIGO Laboratory, announced this revolutionary discovery: “Ladies and gentlemen, we have detected gravitational waves. We dit it!” In Groningen, he will talk about how he and his team made the detection and discuss how gravitational astronomy promises to change our understanding of universe. 

David Reitze is the Executive Director of the LIGO Laboratory and a Research Professor at Caltech and a Professor of Physics at the University of Florida. He earned his PhD at the University of Texas, Austin in 1990, and held research positions at Bell Communications Research and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory before joining the physics faculty at University of Florida in 1993. He has worked extensively on many areas of gravitational wave detector development and gravitational wave science for the past 20 years, joining Caltech in 2011 to head the LIGO Laboratory. Reitze served as the Spokesperson for the LIGO Scientific Collaboration from 2007 to 2011. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and the Optical Society.

Organized by the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences of the University of Groningen in collaboration with Studium Generale Groningen.

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