6th March 2017 – Gravitational Waves

One of our own Knutsford SciBar members, Dr Ian Duerdoth, has agreed to talk to us this month. Ian says:

“I’ll outline our understanding of gravity, firstly as discovered by the brilliance of Newton and then extended by the genius of Einstein in his General Theory of Relativity.  This includes experimental tests and the prediction and nature of Gravitational Waves.

“It has taken decades to develop detectors that are shielded from seismic vibration and are sufficiently sensitive to observe them directly.  The recent discoveries by the LIGO collaboration are presented.  These not only give clear and convincing evidence, for the first time, for the existence of Gravitational Waves but also for the existence of Black Holes and indeed pairs that orbit and coalesce.  We now have a new window of observation on the universe.

“Finally,  there are plans for detectors that are even more sensitive, including LISA which would likely consist of three satellites in solar orbit.”

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