April 2012

Dr. Amber Stuver (Caltech): Multi-messenger Astronomy: Expanding Astronomy's "Senses"

Every time humans have looked at the Universe in a new way, we have found something that was unexpected that revolutionized our understanding of the Universe. Light has been the primary tool for doing astronomy since ancient times. Only recently have other ways of looking at the Universe become available, notably neutrinos and gravitational waves. Observing the Universe with different media is a growing field of astronomy called multi-messenger astronomy. This conversation will describe how astronomy revolutionized how we see the Universe and how multi-messenger astronomy will expand our "senses" to observe the Universe in fundamentally new ways. Multi-messenger astronomy examples used will be from the experience of the LIGO gravitational wave observatories. The potential of this new field of astronomy will be discussed, but the unexpected is expected to be the most exciting!

April 17, 2012, Lusa Pastry Café, 6pm - 7pm.