On September 14, 2015, the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) made the first direct measurement of a gravitational wave coming from deep space. That wave was generated by the collision of two black holes about 1.3 billion light-years from Earth. As the black holes violently merged, they released as much energy in a fraction of a second as our entire galaxy emits in 4,000 years. But by the time the resulting gravitational wave reached Earth it was tiny, stretching the 4-kilometer-long LIGO detectors by just a tiny fraction of the diameter of a proton. How can scientists be sure they have seen such a tiny effect? What can it tell us about one of the most violent events in the universe? Can we expect to see more gravitational waves, opening up a new type of astronomy? Dr. Brian Lantz discusses the implications of the gravity wave observation and the remarkable instruments that made it possible.
|The Hunt for Gravitational Waves
In March 2014, a team of astronomers stunned the scientific world when they announced that their BICEP2 telescope at the South Pole had possibly detected a signal of "gravitational waves" from the early universe.
Einstein predicted that gravitational waves exist. What are they, how are they produced, and what is the evidence for their existence?
|Sources of Gravitational Waves
Titled "A thorough introduction to the theory of general relativity", the lectures introduce the mathematical and physical foundations of the theory in 24 self-contained lectures.
|Einstein's General Relativity and Gravitation
This course provides an introduction to Einstein's theory of gravitation, covering topics: a history of gravity, tensor analysis, Einstein's field equations, astronomical tests of Einstein's theory, and gravitational waves.