Updates from the front line

Gregory Ashton

Tuesday, March 29 2016 at 7:30PM

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66 Regent Street
GL50 1HA

Gregory Ashton

What's the talk about?

Late in 1915 Einstein presented the final form of his theory of gravity: General Relativity. This description of nature has so far stood the test of countless rigorous tests and has led to many new insights from exotic black-holes to the shape of the universe itself.  Not long after its publication, in 1916, Einstein predicted the existence of gravitational-waves, small ripples in the fabric of spacetime itself. At that time Einstein expected that these would be so small as to remain undetectable. However, advances in technology and our understanding of astrophysics have led many to believe that, on this at least, Einstein was wrong. This motivated the establishment of an international effort, the LIGO/Virgo collaboration,  to detect gravitational waves.

In this talk Greg will discuss the historical significance or Einstein's General Relativity, the relevance of gravitational waves and their potential and describe the current status of the LIGO/Virgo detectors.

Greg Ashton is in the final stages of completing a PhD in General Relativity at the University of Southampton where he studies neutron stars, the compact objects left over after some super-novae events. He is a member of the LIGO/Virgo collaboration, a group of scientists seeking to make the first direct detection of gravitational waves, use them to explore the fundamental physics of gravity, and develop the emerging field of gravitational wave science as a tool of astronomical discovery