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King's College London - maxwell Society

Cumberland Lodge 2018
"Gravitational Waves:
A New Window on the Universe."

Gravitational waves are 'ripples' in the fabric of space-time caused by some of the most violent and energetic processes in the Universe. Albert Einstein predicted the existence of gravitational waves in 1916 in his general theory of relativity. This year we are proud to hold our weekend at Cumberland Lodge on the subject of gravitational waves with amazing talks covering their nature, the history of their observation, and how they will forever change the way look at the cosmos in the future. We hope you will join us in looking through this new window on the universe!


Prof. Mairi Sakellariadou

Mairi Sakellariadou is a Professor of Theoretical Physics at King's. Her research as part of the TPPC Group stands at the interface between cosmology, theoretical particle physics and gravitational theories, testing the most advanced theories against the plethora of astrophysical, cosmological and high energy physics data

"History of Gravitational Waves"

The history of GW physics stretches back over 100 years, with fascinating improvements enabled by the evolution of many areas of physics, Mairi will describe how the theory and the tools to detect gravitational waves have developed over time and what exciting research we can expect in the future.

Dr. Eugene Lim

Dr. Eugene Lim is also part of the TPPC Group at King's, with his research interests focussed on Numerical Relativity in Cosmology, High-gamma Collisions of Solitons and Defects, and Effective theory of Soliton Scattering. Eugene also teaches General Relativity as a third year module.

"General Relativity"

General Relativity was a theory published my Albert Einstein in 1915, laying the foundation for his prediction of Gravitational Waves a year later. The theory is often described as one of the most beautiful in all of physics, describing gravity as a geometric property of spacetime, which is curved by energy and momentum present.

Eugene will be introducing us to this theory, and talking about how we can go about testing it given current and future detection methods.

Prof. Alberto Vecchio

Professor Alberto Vecchio is head of Astrophysics and Space Research, and Director of the Institute of Gravitational Wave Astronomy. His research interests include general relativity, the astrophysics of compact objects - black holes and neutron stars - and gravitational-wave experiments. His work is primarily centred on gravitational-wave science and new observations of the Universe using gravitational radiation with ground-based laser interferometers

"From gravitational-wave detectors to observatories"

I will discuss the key technology behind ground-based laser interferometers that have allowed us to make the first detections of gravitational waves, and future developments that shall lead to the deployment of gravitational-wave observatories both on Earth and in space.

Dr. Samaya Nissanke

Dr. Samaya Nissanke is an assistant professor working at the Institute of Mathematics, Astrophysics and  Particle Physics at Radboud University, Nijmegen, the Netherlands. She is also the group leader for the Radboud Virgo Gravitational Wave group (one of the two gravitational wave groups in the NL), which works within the Virgo Collaboration together with the LIGO Scientific Collaboration.

"Multi-Messenger Astronomy"

From such violent events as those required to produce detectable gravitational waves large amounts of energy are also emitted in the electromagnetic spectrum. Multi-messenger astronomy aims for traditional EM observatories to be pointed towards the origin of an event when detected to collect as much data as possible. Samaya's talk will look at analysis of the results from LIGO and VIRGO, as well as from other detection methods, neutrinos and gamma ray bursts.

Prof. Daniel Baumann

Prof. Daniel Baumann is a Professor of Theoretical Cosmology at the University of Amsterdam. His research centres on using cosmological observations to probe fundamental physics.

"Primordial Gravitational Waves"

Daniel will cover the topic of primordial gravitational waves detected from the CMB, how these can be observed and how they can add to our current understanding of the state of the early universe.