The discovery of gravitational waves, predicted by Einstein in 1916, is now enabling important tests of the theory of general relativity, as well as beginning multi-messenger astronomy: the combined observations of astrophysical phenomena using electromagnetic radiation, gravitational waves and neutrinos. Plans and prospects for gravitational wave science will be explored.
About the speaker
Barry C. Barish, the Ronald and Maxine Linde Professor of Physics, Emeritus, at Caltech and Distinguished Professor at UC Riverside is a former director of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO). On September 14, 2015, LIGO made the first-ever observation of ripples in the fabric of space and time—or gravitational waves—arriving at the earth from the collision of two black holes in the distant universe. The discovery confirmed a major prediction of Albert Einstein's 1915 general theory of relativity, and it provides a new way to observe the cosmos.
Barish is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Physical Society, of which he served as President in 2011. He holds honorary doctoral degrees from the University of Bologna, the University of Florida, University of Glasgow, Southern Methodist University and University of Sofia, Bulgaria. Barish has received numerous awards and prizes, culminating in the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2017, along with Kip S Thorne and Rainer Weiss, for "for decisive contributions to the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational waves".
More details on Barry's research can be found here.