Gravitational Waves with Prof. Joe Giaime

David Elder Lecture Programme 2016/17


with Prof. Joe Giaime

29 Aug 2016 | 1830


An interview with Professor Joe Giaime in advance of the lecture

On September 14th 2015 two giant laser interferometers known as LIGO, the most sensitive scientific instruments ever built, detected gravitational waves from the merger of a pair of massive black holes more than a billion light years from the Earth. LIGO’s discovery confirmed the theoretical predictions of Albert Einstein, made a century earlier, and represented our first ever direct detection of black holes. LIGO estimated that the peak gravitational wave power radiated during the final moments of the black hole merger was about 50 times greater than the combined light power from all the stars and galaxies in the observable Universe.

Join Professor Joe Giaime, Director of the LIGO Livingston Observatory in Louisiana, as he recounts the inside story of this remarkable discovery - hailed by many as the scientific breakthrough of the century. Learn about the amazing technology behind the LIGO detectors, which can measure the signatures of spacetime ripples less than a million millionth the width of a human hair, and explore the exciting future that lies ahead for gravitational-wave astronomy as we open an entirely new window on the Universe.

Joe Giaime is Professor of Physics at Louisiana State University and Head of the LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory) Livingston Observatory in Louisiana. Joe is visiting Glasgow in August 2016 to participate in the LIGO Scientific Collaboration autumn meeting, where he will work with LSC colleagues from across the globe (including scientists from the Universities of Glasgow and Strathclyde) on the latest developments in the exciting new field of gravitational-wave astronomy.

An audio podcast of this event is available below


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