Halley Lecture

7 Jun 2017 - 5:00pm
Martin Wood Complex, Department of Physics, University of Oxford, Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3PU
Martin Wood Lecture Theatre
General public (Age 14+)

The 2017 Halley Lecture will be delivered by Professor Rainer Weiss, MIT on behalf of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration on Wednesday 7th June 2017

TITLE: Observation of the mergers of binary black holes: The opening of gravitational wave astronomy

The recent observations of gravitational waves from the merger of binary black holes open a new way to learn about the universe as well as to test General Relativity in the limit of strong gravitational interactions – the dynamics of massive bodies traveling at relativistic speeds in a highly curved space-time. The lecture will describe some of the difficult history of gravitational waves proposed 100 years ago. The concepts used in the instruments and the methods for data analysis that enable the measurement of gravitational wave strains of 10-21 and smaller will be presented. The results derived from the measured waveforms, their relation to the Einstein field equations and the astrophysical implications are discussed. The talk will end with our vision for the future of gravitational wave astronomy.

Rainer Weiss, Born Sept 29, 1932 Berlin, Germany, MIT BS 1955, PhD 1962, Tufts University Physics faculty 1960-1962, Post doc Princeton 1962-1964, MIT Physics faculty 1964-2001, emeritus 2001---, Adjunct Professor of Physics LSU 2001--- . Primary areas of research: Atomic clocks, Cosmic background radiation measurements, Gravitational wave detection.

Please note that we request that you are seated by 4.50pm. If the Martin Wood Lecture Theatre is full there will be seating in the Lindemann Lecture Theatre that will be video linked to the talk.

The lecture will be followed by a drinks reception.


For more information contact: 

Leanen O'Donnell
Tel: 01865 613 973
Email: Leanne.odonnell@physics.ox.ac.uk