Gravitational waves: black holes & the ‘Big Bang’

Friday 8 July 6 pm Presbyterian Community Centre, Tenby St. $5 admission.

Professor Richard Easther, Department of Physics, University of Auckland.

Gravitational waves: Black Holes and the ‘Big Bang’.

Professor Easther is a Kiwi from Hamilton who studied at the University at Canterbury and has worked at universities in Japan and the United States. Richard and his family moved home to New Zealand in 2011, where he is now Professor and Head of the Department of Physics at the University of Auckland.

Richard is a cosmologist who works on understanding how the universe evolved from the Big Bang through to the present day, a topic that draws on particle physics, relativity, and astronomy. He will talk about the discovery of ripples in space — gravitational waves — by the LIGO observatory in February this year. Gravitational waves give us a completely new perspective on the universe and their detection confirms a prediction that Einstein made 100 years ago. Gravitational waves let us watch the formation of black holes and, with a bit of luck, the birth of the universe itself. Richard promises that while the science is complicated, the talk will be simple…!