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Department of Physics

Physicist to Present Lecture Highlighting Gravitational Waves

Dr. Raymond Frey, University of Oregon, will present a special lecture this spring, highlighting the recent discovery of gravitational waves that were predicted to exist by Einstein a century ago. This lecture, "Observation of Gravitational Waves from a Binary Black Hole Merger" will be held on Monday, April 4, at 4:30 p.m. in Room 101 of Cardwell Hall at Kansas State University.

Frey will discuss how the two detectors of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) simultaneously observed a transient gravitational-wave signal due to the inspiral and merger of a binary black hole system at a distance of more than one billion light-years. The signal was very clearly detected, allowing the LIGO collaboration to claim the first direct detection of gravitational waves, the ripples in spacetime predicted 100 years ago by Einstein.

This was also the first indication that black holes in this range of mass — about 30 times the mass of the sun — exist in nature.

Dr. Frey will discuss how the detection was made, the tests of Einstein's theory of general relativity, the implications for astrophysics, and the future of gravitational-wave astronomy.

This lecture will include material suitable for the general public.

Dr. Frey is Professor and Head of the Physics & Astronomy Department at University of Oregon. He studies the fundamental physics of elementary particles and gravitational waves. He received his PhD from University of California, Riverside in 1984. He was selected as one of the top 10 "hot researchers" among all sciences by Thomson Scientific for 2004-05.

Lecture Poster (pdf)