Astrophysics Colloquium

Prof Martin Hendry

19 Feb 2024
Seminars and colloquia
Dennis Sciama Lecture Theatre
Denys Wilkinson Building, Department of Physics, University of Oxford, Keble Road, Oxford OX1 3RH

Martin Hendry 

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Listening to Einstein’s Universe: the dawn and exciting future of gravitational-wave astronomy

Abstract: In just a few short years the detection of gravitational waves from the coalescence of black holes and neutron stars in the local (and increasingly distant!) universe has gone from being a Nobel-prizewinning scientific breakthrough to an almost routine occurrence – with the latest catalogue of gravitational-wave events published by the LIGO Virgo and KAGRA (LVK) scientific collaborations comprising a total of 90 detections, and the first half of the 4th LVK observing run (which ran from May 2023 to January 2024) adding many more candidate events to that total.   In this talk I will briefly review the short history of gravitational-wave astronomy with the current generation of ground-based interferometers, summarising the discoveries – in astrophysics, relativity, fundamental physics and cosmology – that have been made to date and the prospects for further advances from the current and upcoming observing runs.  I will then briefly look ahead to the 2030s, and some of the exciting science opportunities that will be opened up by the next generation of ground-based detectors and the LISA mission.