Dr. Tyson Littenberg, NASA Goddard & University of Maryland, College Park, will present "Rounding the Home Stretch: The Very Near Future of Gravitational Wave Astronomy" on Thursday, November 10th @ Noon in Tome 115. Free pizza - everyone welcome.
Abstract: Gravitational waves were first predicted by Einstein in 1916. Nearly 100 years later, the decades-long quest to measure these ripples in space-time is about to bear fruit. Detectors on the ground are half-way through significant technology upgrades which will increase their sensitivity by an order of magnitude. Furthermore, while recent budget upheaval has obscured the details, space-borne gravitational wave detectors are seen as high priority for NASA and ESA, with both agencies currently undergoing aggressive mission concept studies targeting launch dates in the next decade. He will review the fundamentals of gravitational wave astronomy from the standpoint of detectors and science capabilities.