Cafe Scientifique of Iowa City

November 16, 2017 - 5:30pm
309 VAN

"Gravitational Waves: The 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics" by Professor Vincent Rodgers, Department of Physics & Astronomy, The University of Iowa

 In October this year, the Nobel Assembly awarded on half of the Physics Nobel Prize to Rainer Weiss and the other half jointly to Barry C. Barish and Kip S. Thorne "for decisive contributions to the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational waves".  In September of 2015, LIGO, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory, underwent significant upgrades and just a few days later validated Einstein’s theory of general relativity by directly detecting gravitational radiation.   This opened open a new way astronomers and physicists can learn about what is in our universe.  In fact, in August this year, LIGO and several other instruments, Virgo, Fermi and Integral, were able to detect a binary neutron star merger.  Please join us as we discuss the mathematics and experiments that contributed to these newest insights and its implications for future discoveries.