OSA lecture by Richard O'Shaughnessy, RIT.

  • November 07, 2017
  • 7:00 PM
  • Laboratory for Laser Energetics - East Lobby 240 East River Road, Rochester, NY 14623

Title:  Gravitational waves: opening a new window on the universe


LIGO detected ripples in the fabric of the universe -- gravitational waves -- produced when pairs of black holes and a pair of neutron stars coalesced. And after the merging neutron star, we saw a gamma-ray flash, followed by

slowly-decaying spot of light. These measurements are transforming our understanding of cosmic phenomena. That's only the tip of the iceberg, though: we'll detect more  soon. These ripples will unveil a new window on the universe, giving us access to the most luminous, exotic, and mysterious  phenomena in astrophysics. In this talk I'll discuss how Einstein's legacy will enable a new perspective into our universe.


Richard O'Shaughnessy received his PhD from Caltech with Kip Thorne in 2003, and has been working on gravitational waves ever since.  After postdoctoral fellowships at Northwestern, Penn State, and UWM, he joined the  RIT faculty in 2014 as a member of the Center for Computational Relativity and Gravitation.  His work is on  theoretical gravitational wave astrophysics, developing methods to discover and interpret the ripples in the fabric of the universe produced by merging compact binaries: black holes and neutron stars.

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