24 February 2016

The Detection of Gravitational Waves

For the week of February 28, 2016

The LIGO Scientific Group announced this month the first detection of gravitational waves, a discovery that confirms Einstein’s general theory of relativity. We discuss this extraordinary discovery with Vuk Mandic, Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy at University of Minnesota. Professor Mandic is part of the LIGO group at the U of M and is one of the lead authors of a companion paper to LIGO’s announcement.

  • Part 1

    Part 1
    (1:16) We listen to the audio clip of two black holes colliding detected by the LIGO project; (2:55) Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity and how it relates to gravitational waves; (5:12) Gravitational waves versus light waves; (6:25) The discovery confirms that Einstein’s theory applies in a situation like the merger of black holes; (8:43) What we know about the black hole collision
  • Part 2

    Part 2
    (:21) The LIGO detectors and the technology used to detect gravitational waves; (4:00) The U of M’s involvement in LIGO; (6:48) The importance of collaboration from universities and researchers from a broad spectrum of fields; (8:16) Professor Mandic’s research on the stochastic background; (9:04) The U of M’s research at the Homestake Mine in South Dakota; (11:38) Other detectors being built around the worldDOWNLOAD