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The Hunt for Gravitational Waves

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17:00 – 19:00 5 Oct 2010
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Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, University of Sheffield, S3 7RH

Speakers: Dr Edward Daw, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Univ. of Sheffield

Gravity clearly carries information across the cosmos - it causes clusters of galaxies to be bound together. What carries this information? Einstein's theory of relativity suggests that the carrier is gravitational waves. Like light, gravitational waves can travel for infinite distances through the vacuum of space, carrying not only information but also energy from cataclysmic astronomical events such as the collision of two neutron stars, a supernova, or the infall of a white dwarf into a black hole. I shall discuss the worldwide effort to detect gravitational waves using the LIGO, Virgo and GEO600 detectors. This 'big science' project involves around 100 academic institutions and around 1000 scientists from around the world and employs technology that rivals the Large Hadron Collider in complexity, novelty, and the potential gains for science should these signals be detected.

Event type: Lecture/Talk
Organised by: Yorkshire Branch
Contact details: John Williams
Email: j.williams@sheffield.ac.uk

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Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, University of Sheffield, S3 7RH
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17:00 – 19:00 5 Oct 2010
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