The Astrophysics of Gravitational Wave Research

Saturday, February 18, 2017: 3:00 PM-4:30 PM
Room 309 (Hynes Convention Center)
Sarah Spolaor, National Radio Astronomy Observatory, Socorro, NM
Why is the detection of gravitational waves so important? After all, they have no practical use and time travel is still only possible in your imagination. The answer is that until now our knowledge of the Universe has relied solely on direct observation of the electromagnetic spectrum, i.e. light. The darkest parts of the Universe have been inaccessible. Now, gravitational waves enable the study of the motion of mass whether or not it emits light. This talk will focus on what we hope to find.