Gravitational Waves and LIGO Discoveries

Dr. Brett Bochner, Hofstra professor of physics and astronomy, will give a talk on Gravitational Waves and LIGO discoveries on Wednesday, October 18, at 11:15 a.m. at 101 Berliner Hall. As a graduate student at MIT in the mid-1990s (and as a Hofstra-based consultant for several years afterwards), Dr. Bochner contributed to research that received the Nobel Prize for Physics last week. Dr. Rainer Weiss of MIT, recipient of the 2017 Nobel Prize - shared with Dr. Kip Thorne and Dr. Barry Barish of Caltech - was Dr. Bochner's Ph.D. advisor for more than five years, and they served as collaborators in the LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory) Project.

The main focus of Dr. Bochner's research was modeling the Dual Recycling configuration of the Advanced LIGO detector, which succeeded at detecting Gravitational Waves (GWs) almost immediately after being turned on in 2015. LIGO is a laser-based system for detecting ripples in the fabric of space (GWs), predicted by Albert Einstein precisely 100 years earlier. The first LIGO detection was of GWs emitted by a collision of two Black Holes over 1.3 billion light-years away. This conclusively proved the existence of GWs, as well as the existence of black holes themselves.

To date, LIGO has detected at least four such merging black hole binary systems, with many new types of discoveries anxiously anticipated. "Gravitational Wave Astronomy" represents an entirely new way for observing the most violent events in space and for broadening our knowledge of the universe. From the inception of LIGO to its celebration with the Physics Nobel Prize, this project has endured 45 years of development, involving almost 1,000 researchers from more than 20 countries, including Hofstra’s own Dr. Bochner.

Date: Wednesday, October 18

Time: 11:15 a.m.

Location: 101 Berliner Hall

Wednesday, October 18, 2017



Berliner Hall
Berliner Hall
Hofstra University
Hempstead, NY 11549

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