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LIVESTREAM Einstein’s Gift: Gravitational Waves and Black Holes

17 November 2020
6:00pm - 7:15pm
This event has ended
Image of gravitational waves

Professor Susan Scott will present the remarkable story of gravitational waves and black holes. They are both predictions of Einstein’s general theory of relativity which he presented to the world in 1915. They both have had torrid histories with many twists and turns. Incredibly, they both came together in 2015 with the first direct detection of gravitational waves on Earth, exactly 100 years after Einstein had devised his revolutionary theory.

That was an extraordinary achievement and marked the end of a major chapter in science. However, a new window on the Universe had been opened, so it was simultaneously the birth of a new era of gravitational wave astronomy, which is already unlocking many secrets of the cosmos.


About the Dirac Medal and Lecture

The Dirac Medal for the Advancement of Physics is awarded by the University of New South Wales jointly with the Australian Institute of Physics on the occasion of the Dirac public lecture, held approximately annually at UNSW.

The Lecture and Medal commemorate a visit to UNSW in 1975 by Prof. Paul Dirac, who gave a series of five lectures. The lectures were subsequently published as a book Directions of Physics (Wiley, 1978 – H. Hora and J. Shepanski, eds.), the royalties from which were used to establish the Medal, which was first awarded in 1979.

Image of Professor Susan Scott

Professor Susan Scott

Susan Scott is Professor of Theoretical Physics in the Centre for Gravitational Astrophysics at The Australian National University, and is a Chief Investigator with the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Gravitational Wave Discovery (OzGrav).

She is a General Relativity theorist working in the areas of singularity theory, black holes, gravitational waves and cosmology, and is a member of the team which directly detected gravitational waves in 2015. She spent four years on a Rhodes Fellowship in Oxford working with the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics recipient Roger Penrose, who was also the 2006 recipient of the Dirac Medal.

Throughout her career, Professor Scott has been the recipient of a number of national and international prizes. In 2020, Professor Scott was one of four scientists — and the first female physicist — to be awarded the Prime Minister's Prize for Science for their pioneering work discovering gravitational waves opening a new window to the universe (Source: ABC News. Read full article).