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Gravitational Waves: A New Era of Astronomy Begins

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Published on Jun 22, 2016

On September 14th, 2015, a ripple in the fabric of space, created by the violent collision of two distant black holes over a billion years ago, washed across the Earth. As it did, two laser-based detectors, 50 years in the making – one in Louisiana and the other in Washington State – momentarily twitched, confirming a century-old prediction by Albert Einstein and marking the opening of a new era in astronomy. Join some of the very scientists responsible for this most anticipated discovery of our age and see how gravitational waves will be used to explore the universe like never before.

This program will feature exclusive footage from director Les Guthman’s upcoming documentary chronicling the drama of the gravitational waves discovery.

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Original Program Date: June 4, 2016
MODERATOR: Brian Greene
PARTICIPANTS: Barry Barish, Nergis Mavalvala, Frans Pretorius, David Shoemaker, Rai Weiss

Brian Greene's Introduction - 00:15

Einsteins prediction of bending light - 5:58

Participant Introductions - 9:55

Chapter one: The Discovery - 11:37

The rumors of a gravitational wave - 14:40

How LIGO almost missed the gravitational wave - 19:16

BICEP2 and getting it right - 22:34

Could we have recreated this experiment without a gravitational wave? - 27:09

Chapter two: The Numerical Relativity - 29:30

So you detect a gravitational wave, what does that mean? - 31:58

Black holes vs Neutron stars - 48:12

Chapter three: Detection - 54:31

How LIGO Laboratory works - 1:04:06

How do you shield the laser from the other waves in the world? - 1:09:00

The move from LIGO to Advanced LIGO 1:12:24

Giving credit to Barry Barish - 1:20:04

Chapter four: The Future of LIGO 1:24:40

eLISA and a space interferometer - 1:27:40

Mathematically solving the future of colliding black holes 1:32:00

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