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Ripples in Space and Time | How Gravitational Waves Have Shaken Our Universe


More than a century ago, Einstein revolutionised our view of gravity. But buried in his mathematics, he found that space and time could ripple like waves on a pond. In this talk, we will take you on a journey exploring Einstein’s gravitational waves, from their faltering theoretical beginnings to their successful detection in one of the world’s most sensitive experiments. We will peer into the darkness revealed by gravitational wave telescopes and spy on the universe’s most violent and energetic events, from crashing neutrons stars to the death of black holes. We will also look to the future, to more powerful gravitational wave telescopes, that hold the promise of revealing some of the biggest mysteries in the cosmos, and we will tell the story of the Australian contributions on this exciting journey.


The Einstein Lecture is an annual public event presented by the NSW Branch of The Australian Institute of Physics. UNSW has been the host of this event since 2018. 2022 will be the 17th Einstein Lecture and past distinguished speakers have covered a wide range of topics with an emphasis on Einstein’s ideas and their consequences for physics and technology today. Topics have ranged from quantum computing to plasma physics and on to astrophysics. The lecture engages audiences with the wonders of physics, especially young people, and highlights the recent advances from world experts.