Wednesday, February 8 2017 at 7:30PM
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48 John Bright Street
What's the talk about?
Our best theory of gravity is Einstein's general relativity. This describes gravitation as the bending of space and time. The theory predicts the existence of black holes and gravitational waves. The first direct observation of gravitational waves was made in 2015 by the LIGO Scientific Collaboration, this signal came from the merger of two black holes. Since then, LIGO has observed one, possibly two, other binary black hole mergers. Gravitational waves can reveal many details about objects like black holes which are otherwise invisible, and this new form of astronomy could greatly expand our understanding of the Universe. This talk will introduce gravitational-wave astronomy and discuss the discoveries made so far.
Christopher studied for his PhD at the Institute of Astronomy in Cambridge, where he worked on what we could learn about gravity and black holes with a space-based gravitational wave detector. After finishing his PhD in 2013, he started work at the University of Birmingham, where he joined the LIGO Scientific Collaboration. Since then, he's been working on how to measure properties of the sources of gravitational wave signals as detected by ground-based detectors like LIGO. He was part of the group who analysed LIGO's first observations of gravitational waves in 2015.
This is a free event, although donations to help fund Birmingham Skeptics in the Pub events are appreciated. Seats are limited and offered on a first-come, first-served basis. If you are unable to stand for the duration of the talk let us know beforehand and we will reserve one for you.