SoVerA’s meeting discusses LIGO and Gravitational Wave Astronomy

When:
August 13, 2019 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
2019-08-13T19:00:00-04:00
2019-08-13T20:00:00-04:00
Where:
Whiting Library
117 Main St
Chester, VT 05143
USA
Cost:
Free
Contact:
Margot Kuhns Schmitt

The Southern Vermont Astronomy Group hosts a presentation by Erik Schmitt on “LIGO and Gravitational Wave Astronomy: What is it, how does it work, what does it do, and why does it matter?”

LIGO and Gravitational Wave Astronomy: What is it, how does it work, what does it do, and why does it matter? Physics so far describes only two fundamental forces that function at distances larger than the width of an atomic nucleus. They are electromagnetism (light) and gravity. Throughout the entirety of human history, we have relied exclusively on light to observe and study the universe outside our solar system. We have come far but have found opaque barriers that light cannot penetrate and objects that don’t emit or interact with light in the first place which are literally “invisible” to us.

In 2015, using the principles of a scientific instrument and experiment first performed in 1887, a masterpiece of engineering capable of unprecedented sensitivity called LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory) announced the first successful detection of a gravitational wave and thus began a new chapter of astronomy utilizing a second fundamental force. As this technology develops, we will increasingly be able to “see” where light cannot take us and find more answers to some of our biggest questions.

There will be significant discussion and Q&A throughout and after the presentation. This event is open to the public and any level of experience is welcome.

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