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Outreach & Public Events


Public Lecture Series | Colliding Black Holes and Ripples in SpaceTime: The incredible new results from the LIGO experiment

Wednesday evenings from 7-8 PM: March 28th, April 4th, April 11th, and April 18th

Please join us for a series of lectures on gravitational waves and the remarkable recent observations of the groundbreaking LIGO experiment, which has detected the infinitesimally small ripples in spacetime caused by the convergence of two black holes (and even more recently, two neutron stars). The lectures will be given at the level of the general public (no physics background is assumed), though they will also be illuminating for students of physics, astronomy, engineering or simply those interested in the progress of science.

The event is free and open to the public, though we do ask that you register at this link if possible so that we can anticipate the number of participants. There will be time after the lecture for Q&A with the speaker. The event will be held in the main physics lecture hall on the first floor of the Physics Building. A campus map is here, and a google map in which you can input your address for directions is here. Visitor Parking is available in the Commons Garage.

March 28th: “A Few Words on General Relativity”
What are gravitational Waves?
Early Experiments on GW detection
April 4th: “The History of LIGO”
How LIGO Works
April 11th: “Initial LIGO and Advanced LIGO”
What LIGO and sister detector VIRGO have observed
April 18th: “Beyond LIGO”
Planned Improvements
Other new GW detectors

About the Speaker: Dr. Carruthers spent eight years overseeing the operation of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) and the construction of its major upgrade, Advanced LIGO, as a Program Director for the National Science Foundation. Previously he was a research physicist at the US Naval Research Laboratory, where he studied lasers, fiber optics, and precision optical metrology for nearly 30 years. He has been a longtime collaborator with the Computational Photonics Laboratory in the Computer Science and Electrical Engineering Department at UMBC, where he now serves. He is a senior member of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration.

Click this link for more information about LIGO.




Open Telescope Nights | Explore the Night Sky at the UMBC Observatory

First Thursday of the Month at 7:30 PM in the fourth-floor Physics Seminar Room (Room 401)
Upcoming Dates: March 1st, April 5th, May 3rd, June 7th (summer dates TBA)

Join us for our March Open House and learn about the origins of literally everything via stimulating discussion of the Big Bang. We’ll also give a tour of the facility. Light refreshments will be served.

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