Prospects for Gravitational Wave Astronomy

School of Physics Colloquium Series: Presenting Bernard Schutz, Albert Einstein Institute

The rich astronomy of gravitational radiation is being intensively prepared using sophisticated analytic calculations, massive numerical simulations, and incredibly sensitive experimental facilities. These different approaches must work closely together if we are to use gravitational waves to understand the universe. Already, before the first direct detections of gravitational waves, we understand much more than a decade ago about the fascinating dynamical geometry of black holes and about the physics of how gravitational radiation is generated. Meanwhile the technologies being developed for detection promise applications across the rest of physics. The detections that are expected in the next few years, using the LIGO system and then expanding it into a worldwide network of 5 or more large interferometers, will allow us to test general relativity in radical new ways and to explore the astrophysics of highly relativistic systems. In the longer term, a space-based detector like the super-sensitive LISA will survey the supermassive black hole population of the universe back to the epoch where galaxies were first forming, thereby identifying and studying the earliest discrete objects that have ever been observed in astronomy.

Event Details


  • Monday, March 25, 2013
    3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Location: Marcus Nano Conference Rm. 1116
Fee(s): Free