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AVAILABLE EXPERT - LIGO gravitational waves announcement

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Queen’s University physicist Kayll Lake is available to comment on rumours of a major discovery by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) scientific collaboration. The collaboration scheduled a media event for Thursday, February 11. Ongoing rumors suggest the announcement could be a confirmation that gravitational waves, first predicted 100 years ago by Albert Einstein, have been detected.

“It has long been predicted, within Einstein’s theory of gravity - general relativity - that many astrophysical processes can generate ripples in the fabric of spacetime. A particularly rich source would, for example, be the collision of massive black holes,” says Dr. Lake. “The current rumor, to be verified this Thursday, is that the LIGO detectors in Louisiana and Washington have, at a statistically high level, in fact observed the collision of two black holes, and the subsequent merger to a single “Kerr” black hole of 62 solar masses.”

“There are even other, less specific, rumors that suggest LIGO has seen more than one source. If these rumors are verified, this will be one of the most important discoveries in the history of science.”

Dr. Lake is a professor in the Department of Physics, Engineering Physics and Astronomy at Queen’s University and an associate at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics. His research focus is general relativity and relativistic astrophysics.

Dr. Lake is available in the morning and early afternoon of Thursday, February 11.

To arrange an interview, please contact communications officer Chris Armes (613-533-6000 ext. 77513 or chris.armes@queensu.ca) or Anne Craig (613-533-2877 or anne.craig@queensu.ca) at Queen’s University News and Media Services Department in Kingston, Ont., Canada.

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