"Learning to listen to the universe with LIGO"
by Dr. Joseph Betzwieser
Abstract – On September 14, 2015, the era of gravitational wave astronomy began with the first direct detection of gravitational waves from a pair of merging black holes.
This incredible achievement was made possible by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO), a project well over 40 years in the making, along with a collaboration of scientists from around the world. In the last six years, further upgrades to the LIGO detectors along with a growing network of detectors around the world including VIRGO, GEO, and KAGRA, have led to dozens of new gravitational wave detections, including a pair of neutron stars merging, whose after effects were observed across the electromagnetic spectrum.
Dr. Betzwieser will describe how the LIGO detectors work in order to measure the minute distortions in distance gravitational waves make as they reach us. He will also discuss the types of gravitational wave sources we have already detected, along with some we hope to detect in the not too distant future. He will also describe some of the details of a few of the most exciting events we have seen to date.
Our Speaker – Dr. Joseph Betzwieser received his Phd in Astrophysics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Since that time, he joined the staff at Caltech and has been working on the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO). where he analyzes the data for continuous wave signals, such as one might expect from rapidly rotating neutron stars. Dr. Betzweiser has also worked at Caltech on the development of the 40m interferometer prototype.
Since we're still practicing safe social distancing, we will bring our September Speaker to you virtually through the Zoom online meeting platform! You must register for this presentation in order to attend. You may do so by using the link below:
Please watch your email, as you should also receive an email inviting you attend. The email will include any up to date changes (if any) on meeting times etc. You may also register using the link in the email, however it is only necessary to register once.
We'll have the online chat feature available to us during the talk, and once the presentation is over, we can open up the audio lines for more questions. I'm excited that this we're able to get together in this fashion, and I hope you can join us then. We hope to see you online with us on Friday evening October 1st !
Houston Astronomical Society