31 October, 2016
The Royal Society of Edinburgh, 6pm
Speaker: Professor Martin A. Hendry MBE FRSE FInstP FRAS
Head of School, Professor of Gravitational Astrophysics and Cosmology
Chair, Institute of Physics Scotland
Martin Hendry is Professor of Gravitational Astrophysics and Cosmology at the University of Glasgow, where he is also currently Head of the School of Physics and Astronomy. He is a member of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration – the global team of more than 1000 scientists who, with their colleagues in the Virgo Collaboration, in February 2016 reported the first direct detection of gravitational waves. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2011 and in 2015 was awarded the MBE for services to the public understanding of science.
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 two massive black holes more than a billion light years from the Earth.
This lecture will explore the remarkable science and technology behind the discovery of gravitational waves – widely hailed as one of the most important scientific breakthroughs of the century – and highlight the enormous future potential of the emerging new field of gravitational-wave astronomy.