The birth of a new astronomy: what we have learned from gravitational waves
For many centuries we have studied our Universe using light and optical telescopes. Two years ago, the LIGO observatory announced the first detection on earth of a gravitational wave signal coming from the collision of two black holes. Many more detections followed, but the revolution was just starting. Last summer, LIGO detected the collision of two neutron starts, and soon after optical, gamma and radio wave emissions were also detected, opening a new era in modern astronomy: we can finally observe the Universe with many complementary techniques, and learn much more. This talk will describe the gravitational wave discovery of the two neutron star collision, the subsequent astronomical observations, and what new we have learned about how most of the chemical elements that make the Universe and ourselves were created.
Gabriele Vajente is a scientist at the LIGO Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology. He has been working for many years in the field of experimental gravitational wave detection, first for the European project Virgo, and in the last years for the LIGO project, to participate in the work that culminated with the first detection of gravitational wave on earth and the many other discoveries that followed. Gabriele’s main research interests cover optics, lasers, high precision and low noise measurements