Compton Lectures Highlight Pioneering UChicago Research

Gravitational waves generated by binary neutron stars

UChicago is holding a free lecture series, designed to make the physical sciences accessible to the public, this fall. Sponsored by the Enrico Fermi Institute, the Arthur Holly Compton Lectures will focus on gravitational waves. The series honors the Nobel Prize-winning physicist who headed the 1942 UChicago experiment that produced the first self-sustaining nuclear reaction.

Reed Essick, a postdoctoral fellow at the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics at UChicago, will lead the lectures, which aim to offer a glimpse into humankind’s relatively short but fruitful history in detecting gravitational waves. Participants will learn about the theory of general relativity and gravity, how LIGO detectors works. and other relevant observations. Essick says, “Gravitational waves present a completely new way of seeing the universe, analogous to how Galileo made the first telescope and observed Jupiter’s moons. From his observations, Galileo deduced that the Earth orbits the sun instead of the other way around. Gravitational waves, like the telescope, will provide a radically different perspective of how the universe works.”

Lectures will take place at 11:00 AM Saturdays from September 28, 2019, through November 23, 2019, in Lecture Hall 106 at the Kersten Physics Teaching Center.

For more information on the Compton Lectures, visit the UChicago Web site.

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