- Dec 2nd
Dr Matthew Pitkin, University of Glasgow
Opening the gravitational wave window on the universe
The Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory comprises two detectors located in Hanford, WA and Livingston LA. These detectors are 4 km long Fabry-Perot Michelson interferometers and the most sensitive length measuring devices in the world. They are able to sense a change equivalent to 1/1000th the diameter of a proton over their 4 km baseline. In this talk I will describe the technology development necessary to realise the LIGO detectors, and also describe the two gravitational wave signals that have been observed in the 1st observing run: GW150914 and GW151226. I will provide some insight into the astrophysics which can be gained from these "dark systems", only observable by listening to the universe.