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A MERGER IN SPACE: Black Holes and Neutron Stars

Thursday, May 31, 2018
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm EST

The first detection of colliding black holes rocked the scientific world, establishing that gravitational waves are real and that we are able to measure them. More recently, scientists have achieved the first detection of colliding neutron stars, rocking the scientific world again and inaugurating the era of multi-messenger gravitational wave astronomy. Join astronomers and astrophysicists as they discuss the implications of these colossal cosmic mergers, what they create, and how they’re changing our view of the universe.

The Big Ideas Series is supported in part by the John Templeton Foundation.


Mario LivioAstrophysicist, Author

Dr. Mario Livio is an astrophysicist, a best-selling author, and a popular speaker. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has published more than 400 scientific papers on topics ranging from Dark Energy and cosmology to black holes and extrasolar planets.

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Duncan BrownAstrophysicist

Duncan Brown is the Charles Brightman Professor of Physics at Syracuse University. Brown has worked in gravitational-wave astronomy for 20 years and played a lead role in LIGO’s discovery of binary black hole and binary neutron star collisions. Brown’s research involves using gravitational-wave observations to understand the nature of the universe.

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Vicky KalogeraAstrophysicist

Vicky Kalogera directs the Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration and Research in Astrophysics (CIERA), and is the Daniel I. Linzer Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Northwestern. Kalogera is lead astrophysicist in the LIGO Scientific Collaboration (LSC)

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Frans PretoriusPhysicist

Frans Pretorius is a Professor of Physics at Princeton University. His primary field of research is general relativity, specializing in numerical solution of the Einstein equations.

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Jocelyn ReadAstrophysicist

Jocelyn Read is an assistant professor in the Gravitational Wave Physics and Astronomy Center of California State University, Fullerton. She has spent more than a decade studying neutron star astrophysics and gravitational waves.

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