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Astronomy Open Night: Blowing in the Ether: Einstein's Legacy
Start Date: 9/4/2015Start Time: 7:30 PM
End Date: 9/4/2015

Event Description:

Speaker: James Lattimer, Distinguished Professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy. He specializes in the study of neutron stars and black holes and has been awarded the Hans A. Bethe Prize.

Einstein proposed the existence of gravitational waves in 1917, barely two years after introducing his general theory of relativity. In this, the centennial year of general relativity, we are on the cusp of directly observing this radiation, which will open a new window to our universe. Ironically, Einstein subsequently had doubts as to the reality of gravitational radiation. 20 years after proposing them, he wrote a paper claiming they were unstable and would collapse in on themselves. Later, he reversed his position. In this talk, the probable sources of gravitational waves, and the instruments that have been built to detect them, will be described. Incredibly, the expected signals are so weak that they will only be detected if theorists have predicted the correct templates. Plans to improve and expand the number of current detectors will also be discussed.
Location Information:
West Campus - Earth & Space Sciences Building  (View Map)
100 Nicolls Road
Main Entrance
Stony Brook, NY 11794
Phone: (631) 632-6000
Room: 001

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