"Observation of gravitational waves from merging black holes", Friday, April 29, 12:00pm, MH 606


Geoffrey Lovelace, California State University Fullerton

ABSTRACT: On September 14, 2015, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) made the first observation of gravitational waves passing through Earth. This gravitational-wave signal (named GW150914) originated from a pair of merging black holes over a billion light years away. In this talk, I will discuss this observation, the methods that made it possible, and implications for the dawning age of gravitational-wave astronomy. I will also highlight contributions from student and faculty researchers in CSUF’s Gravitational-Wave Physics and Astronomy Center, including a comparison of the LIGO observation with supercomputer calculations of the merging black holes and the gravitational waves they emitted.