Scotland's Impact on Astronomy: From James Gregory to Gravitational Waves

General event

Scotland's Impact on Astronomy: From James Gregory to Gravitational Waves

Event details

As part of the SPIE conference we bring you two public lectures from renowned speakers Professor Fred Watson and Professor Martin Hendry.

James Gregory: Scotland’s Isaac Newton?

While James Gregory is remembered among astronomers as the inventor of the Gregorian telescope, he is little known outside scientific and historical circles. Yet he made substantial contributions to optics, and his work in mathematics was among the most original and far-reaching of its time. Why, then, is Gregory not a household name? In this entertaining and fully-illustrated talk, self-confessed Gregory enthusiast Fred Watson lifts the veil on this unsung hero of the seventeenth century.

Professor Fred Watson is a graduate of the Universities of Edinburgh and St Andrews, but has been an astronomer at the Australian Astronomical Observatory since 1995. Fred is best known for his radio and TV broadcasts, talks, and other outreach programs in Australia, which earned him the 2006 Eureka Prize for Promoting Understanding of Science.

Listening to Einstein’s Universe: The Hunt for Gravitational Waves 

One hundred years ago Albert Einstein predicted the existence of invisible gravitational waves - ripples in space-time produced by some of the most violent events in the universe. Being incredibly weak, they have never been detected directly – until now. Join Martin Hendry as he tells the story of what is hailed by many as the scientific breakthrough of the century. Learn about the LIGO detectors, and explore the exciting future that lies ahead for gravitational-wave astronomy as we open an entirely new window on the Universe.

Professor Martin Hendry is Professor of Gravitational Astrophysics and Cosmology at the University of Glasgow, where he is currently head of the School of Physics and Astronomy. He is a member of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration who, alongside the Virgo Collaboration, reported the historic discovery of gravitational waves in February 2016.

The lectures are free to attend but booking is essential.

These lectures have been sponsored by the Science and Technology Facilities Council and the SPIE.

Further information

About General events

Our General events include one-off events and lectures that are hosted by, or are of relevance to, the School of Physics and Astronomy..

Find out more about General events.