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"Gravitational Waves are here" by William Unruh

Tuesday, May 16, 2017 7:00PM - 8:30PM

Gravitational Waves are here

This is the inaugural Seven Pines Public Lecture

Professor William Unruh

A hundred years after Einstein argued that his new theory of gravity predicted them, and over 50 years since the experimental search for them began in earnest, gravitational waves were detected passing through the earth by the LIGO detectors in Sept 2015, in probably the most dramatic way possible. They were created about a billion years ago, at the end of a dance between two black holes each with a mass about 30 times that of the sun, proving not only that gravitational waves exist, but that black holes do as well. This talk will review this incredible saga.

About William Unruh
William Unruh of the University of British Columbia, and a regular participant in Minnesota's Seven Pines Institute, has worked on gravity and quantum mechanics since he was a graduate student of John Wheeler's (the man who gave black holes their name) in 1971. In the 1980's he was one of the pioneers of "Quantum Non-demolition", a technique for evading the effects of quantum noise on gravity wave detectors, which is now beginning to be implemented to increase the sensitivity of gravitational wave detectors. He has numerous honours, amongst which his proudest is being a Fellow of the Royal Society of London.

About the Seven Pines Symposia
The Seven Pines Symposium is dedicated to bringing together leading historians, philosophers, and scientists for several days in a collaborative effort to probe and clarify significant foundational issues in science as they have arisen in the past and continue to challenge our understanding today. Since its founding in 1996, it has provided a Minnesota forum for leading thinkers and researchers worldwide to exchange ideas and broaden knowledge.

The Swain Room, University of Minnesota McNamara Center

  • 200 Oak Street S.E., Suite 100, Minneapolis, MN55455

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