David Shoemaker – Thursday, January 18, 2018

Gravitational Waves – the New Cosmic Messenger 

On September 14, 2015, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) measured gravitational waves from the merger of two black holes, kicking off a new era of gravitational-wave astronomy. This was the first direct measurement of gravitational waves — ripples in space-time that Albert Einstein predicted 100 years ago in his general theory of relativity. A second observing period will end in Summer 2017. David will update on recent developments and a give a roadmap for the future.

David Shoemaker is Senior Research Scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Kavli Institute. He received his M.S. from MIT in 1980 on contributions to the COBE cosmic background satellite, and a Ph. D. from the Université de Paris, Orsay in 1987 on methods for the interferometric detection of gravitational waves. He served as the Leader for the Advanced LIGO Detector Project, and was elected the LIGO Scientific Collaboration Spokesperson in 2017. As spokesperson, Shoemaker will coordinate and speak on behalf of the gravitational wave science carried out by scientists in 15 countries in observatories located in Hanford, Washington, and Livingston, Louisiana, as well as a detector in Hannover, Germany.