Kibbe Lecturer Discusses the Latest on Einstein, Gravitational Waves, and Black Holes

More than hundred years ago, Einstein predicted that space time was dynamic, and that there were ripples in space time traveling at the speed of light, or gravitational waves. On September 14, 2015, the two Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) detectors in Hanford, Wash., and Livingston, La., registered, for the first time, a loud gravitational wave signal traveling through Earth, created more than a billion years ago from the merger of two black holes. A few months later in December, another signal, also from black holes, was detected. These observations marked the beginning of gravitational wave astronomy.

Dr. Gabriela Gonzalez, an experimental physicist who has led the LIGO Scientific Collaboration for five years, describes the details of the observation, the status of gravitational wave detectors, and the gravity-bright future of the field. Her lecture was sponsored by the Kibbe Science Lecture Fund.


  1. Christopher Hanks '68 says:

    Great catch for Bowdoin – but the audio is poor and the video only shows her slides intermittently. Maybe next time?

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