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Recently, there was a breakthrough discovery by Physicists of the detection of gravitational waves - ripples in the fabric of spacetime that were first anticipated by Albert Einstein a century ago. Come join us for an exciting night of talks where we will discuss gravitational waves and their importance in our current understanding of the gravitational force in the context of general relativity (Einstein's theory of gravity). During the event, there will be Mendeley and Pint of Science goodies to be won!
Gravitational waves: a new window into the Universe
Dr Pau Figueras (Royal Society Research Fellow)
Recently the Ligo collaboration announced the detection of gravitational waves for the first time. The event that the Ligo detectors recorded corresponds to the merger of two black holes and it is the most violent event that humanity has ever recorded. Arguably, this is the most important discovery in gravitational physics in the past 100 years and likely one of the greatest discoveries of the 21st century. I will explain gravitational waves and their importance in our current understanding of the gravitational force in the context of general relativity (Einstein's theory of gravity).
Warp drive: surfing through spacetime
Edgar Gasperin (PhD student at the School of Mathematical Sciences)
Alcubierre's drive is a proposal of how to use the framework of Einstein's General Relativity to allow a spaceship to travel faster than light, as seen by outside observers. This proposal, as claimed by Miguel Alcubierre, was inspired by Star Trek. The basic idea is that space is contracted in front of the spaceship and expanded behind. The picture to have in mind is that of a surfer standing on top of a wave as it moves through the ocean. In the words of Scotty in the film Star Trek Into Darkness “...It never occurred to me to think of space as the thing that was moving!...”
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