Conference "Gravitational waves and binary black holes

  • Category:
  • Dates: March 14, 2018
  • Timetable : 16h30 - 19h00
  • Location:

Wednesday, March 14, 2018 from 4:30 p.m. to 19 h
Grand Amphitheatre Dumontet, Triolet campus
Free admission for all

Physics and mathematics lecture by Thibault Damour, 2017 CNRS Gold Medalist, Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques.

Summary of the conference

Gravitational waves and black holes are two of the most innovative predictions of Einstein's theory of General Relativity. These two predictions appeared as soon as the theory was discovered in 1916. However, it took about 50 years of theoretical development to begin to understand their physical significance, and 100 years to certify their existence in the real world. We will present the experimental and theoretical aspects of the recent detection, by the two American interferometers LIGO, and by the European interferometer Virgo, of gravitational waves emitted by the last orbits, and the merger, of several binary systems of black holes, and, more recently, of a binary system of neutron stars. These
detections provided the first direct evidence of the existence of both gravitational waves and black holes, and inaugurated a new way of observing the Universe: gravitational wave astronomy.

Presentation of the speaker

Thibault Damour is a theoretical physicist, professor at the Institut des Hautes Etudes Scientifiques and 2017 CNRS gold medalist. He is internationally known for his groundbreaking work on black holes, pulsars, gravitational waves and quantum cosmology.
Thibault Damour is (co-)author of several books on physics, including:

  • Interviews on the multitude of the world with Jean-Claude Carrière Thibault Damour, Jean-Claude Carrière, Odile Jacob pockets, 2014 ;
  • If Einstein were told to me, Thibault Damour, Éditions Le Cherche-Midi, 2012, Éditions Champs Flammarion, 2016.

He is co-writer of the comic strip The Mystery of the Quantum World with Mathieu Burniat (Éditions Dargaud, 2016), winner of the literary prize "Is the root of words square?". This prize, initiated by a teacher from the Jean Monnet high school in Montpellier, rewards a literary work that deals with mathematics. From a selection of 5 works combining mathematical content and literary quality, high school and university students elect the book they prefer.
The winner is traditionally presented during the Math Weekunder the auspices of theIREM (Institute of Research on Mathematics) which is part of the DESciRE Pedagogy Support Service on the Triolet Campus. On this occasion, many high school students come to present their work before the announcement of the winner.