South Cheshire Astronomical Society - Talk Archive Item


Public Talk

Thursday 16th Nov 2017

7:00pm for 7:30pm start

Please arrive soon after 7pm to book your place and pay entry or membership subscriptions.


Venue: South Cheshire College.

Speaker: Prof. Andreas Freise
the University of Birmingham
School of Physics and Astronomy

Professor of Experimental Physics
Deputy Director, Institute of Gravitational Wave Astronomy

Professor Freise leads a small research team in the Gravitational Wave Group, working on new technologies and instrumentation for high-precision experiments..

Talk Title: Shining a Light on Black Holes

Prof Andreas Freise and gravitational waves

Graphic Composite sources:
Background image provided by Prof Andreas Freise.

Foreground image of Prof. Andreas Freise - from a YouTube video;
Link: When Black Holes Collide | Alberto Vecchio & Andreas Freise | TEDxBrum
Well worth viewing

Talk Abstract (Provided by speaker):

Advances in technology, from lasers to modern quantum optics, have fundamentally changed the way we design precision instruments. Measuring a gravitational wave is now a possibility, while remaining one of the greatest challenges in experimental physics. The task is to detect tiny changes in the distance between two objects, a change that is 100,000 times smaller than the core of an atom. Over several decades a new type of laser interferometer has been developed, and several kilometre long gravitational-wave detectors have been constructed around the world.

Now, almost exactly a hundred years after Einstein's predictions, the two LIGO detectors have achieved the first detection of a gravitational wave, exceeding Einstein's imagination. I will talk about an extraordinary journey in experimental physics and the invention of new laser instruments to look into the skies and listen for the echoes of black holes and dying stars.