Speakers: Jens Niemeyer and Katy Clough
University of Göttingen, Institute of Astrophysics
Title: Gravitational Waves past and future
This year the Nobel Prize was deservedly won by Rainer Weiss, Barry Barish and Kip Thorne of the LIGO/VIRGO Collaboration "for decisive contributions to the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational waves”. In the first half of the talk we will look back at the history of gravitational waves which led to the LIGO project, in particular the confusion around whether gravitational waves were real or merely coordinate artefacts. This issue challenged some of the greatest minds in physics, including Einstein himself. The second half of the talk focusses on the future of this exciting topic, in light of the recent observation of a binary neutron merger in both gravitational wave data and across the electromagnetic spectrum.