Gravitational radiation, or gravitational ‘waves’, are a prediction of Einstein's General Relativity, and are among the most elusive signals from far out in the Universe. Gravitational wave detectors will uncover dark secrets of the Universe by helping us to study astronomical sources in extreme physical conditions—a unique tool for looking into the heart of some of the most violent events in the Universe by detecting changes in the very fabric of spacetime. To do this is a huge experimental challenge—detectors are needed that can measure the effects of gravitational waves on the separation of objects with a sensitivity eqivalent to measuring an atom sized change in the separation of the Earth and Sun.
A global network of such detectors are now in operation around the world, with enhanced versions planned. In this talk a review of the status of this emerging new field will be given.
Our General Interest Seminars are an opportunity for distinguished speakers to present new research in physics and related areas. The material presented is suitable for undergraduate level upwards and all members of the School are welcome to attend..