General Relativity at 100: Looking Forward and Looking Back

Monday, 16 February 2015: 9:45 AM-11:15 AM
Room LL21D (San Jose Convention Center)
Since its publication in 1915, Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity has revolutionized the way scientists view the universe. The static Euclidean space that had been assumed for centuries had to be replaced with a dynamic curved "spacetime," in which the concepts of space and time intertwine in ways that defy intuition. The confirmation of the predictions of General Relativity -- the bending of starlight, the stretching of time in a gravitational field, the orbital decay of binary neutron stars due to gravitational waves -- have revolutionized physics and astronomy. Now on the 100th birthday of General Relativity, developments in two areas will enable new tests and new uses for its final prediction: gravitational waves. First, numerical solutions to Einstein’s equation using high-performance computers have shown unexpected behaviors for colliding black holes and new insights into the engines for supernovas. Second, new types of gravitational wave detectors will soon give the first direct detections of these waves across a wide span of frequencies, revealing sources that may not be observable in any other way. This session will begin with a look back at the history of this revolutionary theory. The second presentation will describe the challenge of numerical relativity and how it is revealing new phenomena. The final speaker will preview how new generations of gravitational wave detectors can be used to view the “dark side” of the universe.
Stanley Whitcomb, California Institute of Technology
Beverly Berger, International Society on General Relativity and Gravitation
Beverly Berger, International Society on General Relativity and Gravitation
Daniel Kennefick, University of Arkansas
Einstein's Failed Attempt to Undiscover Gravitational Waves
Manuela Campanelli, Rochester Institute of Technology
Revealing the Hidden Universe with Numerical Relativity
B.S. Sathyaprakash, Cardiff University
Gravitational Waves: A New Window on the Universe
See more of: Physics and Astronomy
See more of: Symposia