Professor Mike Cruise explores the discovery of gravitational waves in second 2019 Astronomy For All Lecture

Professor Mike Cruise delivers the second of 2019's Astronomy For All Lectures, The Gravitational Sky

Professor Mike Cruise, President of the Royal Astronomical Society, drew a full house for the second of 2019’s Astronomy For All Lectures, convened by Green Templeton Associate Fellow Charles Barclay.

The lecture explored how, after more than 40 years of experimental effort, the gravitational waves first predicted by Albert Einstein were finally detected in 2015, and the impact of that historic discovery on the future of astronomy.

Professor Cruise began by saying: “The aim of my talk is to show you how the recent discovery of gravitational waves, even within three and a half years, is changing our view of astronomy and, more than that, how it will change our ability to do astronomy and understand the universe in the future.”

He then took the audience on a journey through the background of gravitational wave theory, how the waves were eventually detected, and the next step in gravitational wave exploration, with the LISA Mission scheduled for launch in 2034.

Listen to the full lecture below:

The lecture was introduced by Emeritus Fellow Professor Jeffery Burley, who said it was the 41st lecture since the Astronomy series was begun by Charles, as a way of strengthening and reinforcing the link between Green Templeton, home of the Radcliffe Observatory, and astronomy and the Oxford Astrophysics Department in particular.

Charles, who is Vice-President of the Royal Astronomical Society and Director of the Blackett Observatory at Marlborough College and Astrophysics sub-department, concluded the evening with a vote of thanks to Mike.

The other two talks in the 2019 series were:

Reaching young stars: British Astronomy and Astrophysics Olympiad
Wednesday 23 January 2019 at 18:00
Speaker: Charles Barclay

Galaxy Zoo: from the lab to your living room
Wednesday 27 February at 18:00
Speaker: Dr Becky Smethurst, Oxford Astrophysics
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Created: 21 February 2019