Gravitational Waves

Observing the Dark Side of the Universe

Just over one hundred years ago, Albert Einstein predicted that there were ripples in the curvature of spacetime travelling at the speed of light: we now know these as gravitational waves.

Scientists have been searching for these elusive ripples for more than 50 years, then in September 2015, the first ever gravitational wave was observed by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO). This spacetime ripple was created more than 1 billion years ago by the merger of two black holes, each approximately 30 times the mass of the sun.

Dr Paul McNamara, European Space Agency, describes the science of gravitational waves, as well as describing the technologies required to make the most sensitive instruments ever built, on ground and in space, to allow us to observe the most energetic events in the universe.

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Saturday 21 October
11.30am-12.30pm
Venue: The Forum’s Auditorium
Cost: £6, £4 concessions
Age: 15+

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