Department of Physics
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Gravitational Waves Discovery Public Talk

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Tuesday, November 21, 2017 - 18:30 to 20:00

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Join us for a series of short talks about the Gravitational Wave detection of colliding neutron stars. 

LIGO’s latest gravitational wave detection has spawned an explosion of new science across the global astronomical community. On August 17, 2017, the two LIGO instruments (funded by the National Science Foundation) and its sister facility, Virgo, near Pisa, Italy, sensed tell-tale signs of the remnant cores of two massive stars spiraling toward and then smashing into each other some 130 million light years away. The objects were quickly identified as neutron stars, the collapsed cores of stars that were once much more massive than our Sun. They are called “neutron stars” because their matter is so densely packed it is composed primarily of neutrons. One such star possessing the mass of our Sun would be just 10 to 15 km in diameter, and a teaspoon of its material would weigh about one-billion tons on Earth. Using the signals received in LIGO’s detectors, the masses of the neutron stars were determined to 1.1 to 1.6 times as massive as our Sun. From the Ligo consortium. 

The talks will give an overview of the exciting discovery and what this means for Neutron star science. The talks will be given by Dr Arnau Rios Huguet and Dr Rob Izzard.

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