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Max Planck Lecture: Exploring the Universe with Gravitational Waves

Max Planck Society | Alessandra Buonanno

The first detection of gravitational waves produced by the collision of two black holes provided spectacular proof of Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity and was a milestone for astrophysics.

The detection of gravitational waves by LIGO in 2015 has constituted a major scientific discovery, as it has permitted a new kind of observation of the cosmos, quite different from electromagnetic and particle observations. In this lecture Alessandra Buonanno will discuss how those novel astronomical messengers are already unveiling distinctive and puzzling properties of the most extraordinary astrophysical objects in the universe: black holes and neutron stars. In the next decades, those sounds of silent will provide us with the unique and wondrous opportunity of listening (or peering back) to the very earliest moments of the universe, shedding light on its origin.

PUBLIC LECTURE VIA LIVESTREAM.

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Find more information about the programme by the Max Planck Society here.

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Alessandra Buonanno

Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute)

Director

Alessandra Buonanno is the director of the “Astrophysical and Cosmological Relativity” Department at the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics since 2014. She studied physics in Pisa, and held faculty positions in Paris and at the University of Maryland, where she became full professor in 2010. She is a leading theorist in the field of gravitational-wave physics. Her work on waveform modeling was essential in the detection of gravitational waves from binary systems, and the physical interpretation of the signals. For her contributions to LIGO and Virgo discoveries, she was awarded several prizes, including the 2018 Leibniz prize, the most prestigious research prize in Germany.

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