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Physics Events

Physics Colloquium: Gravitational Waves: A New View of the Universe

Thursday, March 5, 2020

3:30 PM-4:30 PM

Amber Stuver, PhD, Villanova University


Albert Einstein predicted the existence of gravitational waves, ripples on space-time propagating from accelerating masses, in 1916. 100 years later, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) announced the first detection of a gravitational wave from two stellar-mass black holes that coalesced 1.3 billion years ago. Since then, there have been a handful of detections, each its own first in science. In 2017, a gravitational wave was detected less than 2 seconds before a gamma-ray burst was detected from the same area on the sky. This led over 70 observatories, from around the Earth and orbiting it, to observe the light from this same event. This unprecedented collaboration in astronomy provided evidence to show that short gamma-ray bursts can be made by the coalescence of neutron star binaries. Today, there are dozens confirmed and candidate detentions of gravitational wave which is further revealing the universe to us through the new field of gravitational wave astronomy.

This colloquium will discuss what gravitational waves are, how they are detected, and a summary of the new insights learned through gravitational wave astronomy.

Contact Information

Professor Naoko Kurahashi Neilson

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Disque Hall, Room 919, 32 South 32nd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104


  • Undergraduate Students
  • Graduate Students
  • Faculty