June 2 Meeting Gravitational Waves: What’s the Big Deal?

This is our last meeting before we break for Summer. You won’t want to miss our special Guest Speaker, Cliff Burgess, who will talk about Gravitational Waves – a recently confirmed phenomenon.

Gravitational waves were recently seen coming from the coalescence of two black holes a great distance away. This talk intends to convey three things:

1. why modern theories of forces always require the existence of waves;

2. why this requirement is driven by relativity (largely because of its requirement that nothing goes faster than light, which in turn is founded on the impossibility of being able to sends signals into one’s own past); and

3. why seeing gravitational waves from black holes is likely to teach us much about the universe as a whole in addition to learning about the waves and black holes themselves.

We’ll also be showing off some new equipment that will be making a debut in the club observatory.

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