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STScI Webcast

STScI Public Lecture Series

Gravitational Wave Astronomy

Presented by: Andrew Fruchter (Space Telescope Science Institute)
Category: Education and Outreach   Duration: 1 hour and 20 minutes   Broadcast date: May 01, 2018
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The 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded for the observation of gravitational waves. This new field transforms our ability to study the universe. For the first time, we can directly observe the mergers of binaries composed of the densest macroscopic objects in the universe — black holes and neutron stars. The results are revolutionary. We have discovered stellar mass black holes far larger than any previously known, and have seen them merge to form even larger black holes. We have seen evidence that neutron star mergers are a major source of the heavy elements in the universe. Dr. Fruchter will provide a basic introduction to the technology and physics behind the detection of gravitational waves as well as discuss the exciting new results.