NSF exhibit at Planetarium examines search for gravitational waves

The Planetarium at UT Arlington is hosting a National Science Foundation-funded exhibit about the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory or LIGO. “Astronomy’s New Messengers: Listening to the Universe with Gravitational Waves” will be on display in the Chemistry and Physics Building through July 29.

LIGO is a unique effort to detect and monitor ripples in the fabric of space and time produced by violent events like the collision of black holes. Albert Einstein predicted the existence of “gravitational waves” in his 1916 general theory of relativity. LIGO, which has a detection station in Louisiana and one in the state of Washington, was developed by scientists from the California Institute of Technology and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Manfred Cuntz, associate professor of physics and director of UT Arlington’s astronomy program, says the exhibit is a good example of the NSF and UT Arlington’s commitment to bringing science to the general public.

“Black holes are just one of those terms that catch the imagination of many people, and this exhibit has the potential to engage young students who may one day pursue a career in science,” Dr. Cuntz says.

Contact Levent Gurdemir, Planetarium director, at 2-1183 for more information about the free exhibit.

Source: MavWire

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