Presenters: Professors Warwick Bowen and Tamara Davis, UQ

Rarely has a physics discovery been more eagerly anticipated than the detection of gravitational waves. On September 14th, 2015, the Laser Interferometric Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) detected the coalescence of two black holes for the first time. More detections followed, spectacularly confirming the existence of gravitational waves predicted almost a full century earlier in 1916 by Albert Einstein.
These detections were enabled by fifty years of advances in measurement science and engineering, providing the ability to resolve gravitational wave-induced length differences between the 4km interferometer arms with precision of less than 1/1000th of the effective diameter of a proton. This year the Nobel Prize Committee is recognising this achievement by awarding some of the initiators of the LIGO experiment the Nobel Prize in Physics.

Come hear from UQ’s Warwick Bowen and Tamara Davis about the details of the Nobel winning science - how the measurement challenges were overcome, and what gravitational waves can teach us about black holes and fundamental physics.

About Physics colloquium

The Physics Colloquium series hosts a range of speakers from Australia and abroad. The series explores a variety of topics and everyone is welcome to come along. The seminars are open so there is no need to register your attendance.

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