Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy

Queen's University
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Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy
Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy

Departmental Colloquium - Listening in on Black Holes with Gravitational Waves

Paul Saulson,
Syracuse, NY

November 18th, 2016
1:30 p.m. Theatre A

Abstract:

 A little over a year ago, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) recorded a signal generated by the collision of two black holes 1.3 billion light years away. Minute vibrations of space were all that remained of one of the most powerful events in the universe.
Remarkably, we can listen to this signal simply by amplifying it and playing it through speakers. The sound tells the story, never before witnessed, of what happens when black holes collide. I'll discuss what gravitational waves are, how LIGO detected them, and what discoveries might come next from this new way of exploring the universe.