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The First Direct Detections of Gravitational-waves: A Revolution in Physics and Astronomy

This is a past event.

Friday, September 28, 2018 at 1:30pm to 3:00pm

AHC3 - Academic Health Center 3, 205
11200 SW 8th ST 33199, Academic Health Center 3, Miami, Florida 33199

Dr. David Reitze

Executive Director of the LIGO Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology

Professor of Physics at the University of Florida

Abstract: The gravitational-wave detections by LIGO and Virgo in the past three years have already revealed completely new insights into the high energy cosmos.  Among the new knowledge revealed these detections— black holes can form in binary systems, binary black hole mergers seed the formation of more massive black holes, binary neutron star mergers produce gamma ray bursts, the heaviest elements in the periodic table likely come from the collision of two neutron stars, the radii of neutron stars can be constrained by gravitational-wave emissions, and the Hubble constant can be measured using gravitational-wave sources as standard sirens.  

            In this talk, I’ll give an overview of gravitational wave detection, discuss some of the groundbreaking results to come out of the past two observing runs of the Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo detectors, and talk about where gravitational-wave astrophysics is going in the next decade and beyond.


Biography: Dr. David Reitze holds joint positions as the Executive Director of the LIGO Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology and as a Professor of Physics at the University of Florida. His research focuses on the development of gravitational-wave detectors.  He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and the Optical Society, and was jointly awarded the 2017 US National Academy of Sciences Award for Scientific Discovery for his leadership role in LIGO. He is also a member of the international LIGO Scientific Collaboration that received numerous awards for the first direct detection of gravitational waves in 2015. 

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