Sackler Lecture: Einstein’s Waves: New Cosmic Sounds


Abstract: One century following Einstein’s prediction of spacetime disturbances and gravitational waves, the laser-enabled special detectors LIGO achieved the most accurate measurement ever made by humans across science and engineering and revealed to us the gravitational-wave signals produced by the most powerful collisions of black holes in the universe. These revolutionary discoveries have given birth to a brand new field of astronomy, a completely new way of sensing the cosmos and exploring its darkest corners. I will review the first direct detections of gravitational waves and what they can teach us about the nature of black holes and other exotic cosmic events.

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