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On gravitational waves and 2017 Nobel Prize for Physics

Wednesday, 13.12.2017 15:00

Speakers: Jiří Chýla (Institute of Physics of the CAS)
Place: Lecture Hall of the Institute of Physics, Pod Vodárenskou věží 1, Prague 8
Presented in English
Organisers: Institute of Physics

This year Nobel Prize for Physics has been awarded to three leading scientists from LIGO-VIRGO Collaboration “for decisive contributions to the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational waves”. I will first recall basic facts about the origin and detection of gravitational waves in general and then discuss in nontechnical terms the construction and amazing sensitivity of LIGO detector as well as the way how the gravitational waves are recorded and presented.

The crucial role of the three Nobel Prize Laureates will be emphasized and all five signals of gravitational waves so far recorded by LIGO-VIRGO will be briefly described. Particular attention will be paid to the very recent one, announced on October 16, which originated from the collision of two neutron stars and which has also its optical counterpart as Gamma Ray Burst, observed by two space-based telescopes. Finally, future observatories, that would significantly extend the capabilities of LIGO-VIRGO, will be briefly discussed.