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Institute Lecture on “Direct observation of gravitational waves from the merger and inspiral of two black holes”

IIT Bombay organised an Institute Lecture on December 15, 2016.


Direct observation of gravitational waves from the merger and inspiral of two black holes


Dr. Bruce Allen,
Managing Director, Albert Einstein Institute Hannover, Germany,
Max Planck Institute for gravitational Physics and Leibniz University.


Date:      December 15, 2016

Abstract of the Talk

This talk follows the historic announcement made on February 11th by the LIGO Scientific Collaboration. On September 14, 2015, Dr. Allen and his group detected the gravitational waves emitted by the final few orbits and merger of two black holes. In this talk, Dr. Allen presented the main results, as well as some of the "behind the scenes" details of the discovery and subsequent analysis. He also described their December 26, 2015 detection of a somewhat weaker gravitational waves from a similar system, and their expectations for the coming years, as the instruments become more sensitive.

Introducing Dr. Bruce Allen

Dr. Bruce Allen is in-charge of a major laboratory engaged in the European effort to set up gravitational wave detectors. His core strength is theoretical physics, after having completed his PhD under the supervision of Stephen Hawking.

His research group on Observational Relativity and Cosmology focuses on computationally intensive aspects of existing and upcoming experiments. The group operates the ATLAS computing cluster, which is the world's largest and most powerful resource dedicated to gravitational wave searches and data analysis. It also plays a leading role in the Einstein@Home project, which uses computing power donated by the general public to search for gravitational waves and electromagnetic emission from neutron stars. Some of his recent awards are:

  1. Special Breakthrough Prize (shared with LIGO Scientific Collaboration)
  2. Gruber Prize (shared with LIGO Scientific Collaboration)