Since 1987, Berkeley Physics has had the opportunity to bring world-renowned scientists to our campus to speak in honor of one of our greatest experimentalists, Emilio Segrè. The lecture series, which occurs each Fall, highlights trends, discoveries and groundbreaking research and is made possible through the generosity of the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Foundation.
Emilio Segre was truly one of the 20th century’s most distinguished physicists. Along with Owen Chamberlain, he won the Nobel Prize in 1959 for their discovery of the antiproton. Emilio Segre had been a student of Enrico Fermi in the late 1920s. He was also a faculty member with Berkeley Physics for more than five decades.
This year's Emilio Segré Lecture featuring Rainer Weiss drew a crowd of over 1200 people to Zellerbach Auditorium. Professor Weiss's lecture on the discoveries of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration can be viewed below.
Beginning the Exploration of the Universe with Gravitational Waves
Rainer Weiss, MIT on behalf of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration
The recent observation of gravitational waves from the merger of binary black holes opens a new way to learn about the universe as well as to test General Relativity in the limit of strong gravitational interactions – the dynamics of massive bodies traveling at relativistic speeds in a highly curved space-time. The lecture will describe some of the difficult history of gravitational waves proposed exactly 100 years ago. The concepts used in the instruments and the methods for data analysis that enable the measurement of gravitational wave strains of 10-21 and smaller will be presented. The results derived from the measured waveforms, their relation to the Einstein field equations and the astrophysical implications are discussed. The talk will end with our vision for the future of gravitational wave astronomy.
This free event took place in Zellerbach Auditorium.
Read article in Berkeley News.
View photos from the event.
About the speaker
Rainer Weiss, Born Sept 29, 1932 Berlin, Germany, MIT BS 1955, PhD 1962, Tufts University Physics faculty 1960-1962, Post doc Princeton 1962-1964, MIT Physics faculty 1964-2001, emeritus 2001---, Adjunct Professor of Physics LSU 2001--- . Primary areas of research: Atomic clocks, Cosmic background radiation measurements, Gravitational wave detection.
Visit the LIGO Scientific Collaboration website.