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Tue Nov 14th 2023, 5.00pm to 6.15pm
Centre for Mathematical Sciences

Illuminating the dark universe with gravitational waves

Speaker: Professor Alessandra Buonanno, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics

For centuries, we have explored the Universe and discovered novel astrophysical sources and phenomena only through the observation of electromagnetic waves (gamma rays, X-rays, optical, infrared, radio waves). In 2015, we observed the first gravitational wave passing through the Earth produced by the merger of two stellar-mass black holes. Such an event has provided us with a remarkable confirmation of the general theory of relativity by Albert Einstein, and ushered in the era of gravitational-wave astronomy. Since then, about one hundred gravitational waves have been detected, including the gravitational signal produced by the coalescence of two neutron stars, accompanied by a plethora of electromagnetic counterparts observed by numerous telescopes around the world.

In this talk, Professor Alessandra Buonanno will highlight how the novel astronomical messengers are already unveiling distinctive properties of the most extreme astrophysical objects in the Universe, and discuss the discovery potential of future observatories in space and on the ground, which will open new frequency bandwidths.

How to book

The talk will be given in-person in Meeting Room 2, Centre for Mathematical Sciences, Cambridge CB3 0WA. Tickets for the talk are free but must be pre-booked here.

A livestream of the event will be broadcast here.


Image: Professor Alessandra Buonanno (Image credit: Markus Scholz für die Leopoldina)