David Reitze, Ph.D.
Executive Director, Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO)
Monday, October 23, 2017
Reception: 6:15 pm • Lecture: 7 pm
University of Houston
Science & Engineering Classroom Building
Rm. 100 Lecture Hall
3517 Cullen Blvd
On September 14, 2015, scientists observed the collision and fusion of two black holes by directly measuring the gravitational waves emitted during their collision using the LIGO detectors. This detection came almost exactly 100 years after Einstein developed his revolutionary general theory of relativity that predicted gravitational waves, and 50 years after scientists began searching for them. Since then, more gravitational- wave events have been confidently detected.
The 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to founding members of the LIGO team in recognition of these discoveries,which have truly profound implications. Gravitational waves provide unique information on the most energetic astrophysical events in the universe, revealing unique insights into the nature of gravity, matter, space, and time. LIGO has opened a new window onto the cosmos. Reitze will talk about how LIGO made the detections and discuss how gravitational astronomy promises to change our understanding of the universe.