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Vítor Cardoso 10/10/2019, 16:00 — 17:00 — Amphitheatre Pa2, Mathematics Building
, CENTRA, Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa

Testing General Relativity with Gravitational Waves

This year marks the centenary of a pivotal breakthrough: the confirmation that gravity can be described as spacetime curvature. Among the most outrageous predictions of the theory are the existence of black holes and gravitational waves.

Gravitational waves offer a unique glimpse into the unseen universe in different ways, and allow us to test the basic tenets of General Relativity, some of which have been taken for granted without observations: are gravitons massless? Are black holes the simplest possible macroscopic objects? Do event horizons and black holes really exist, or is their formation halted by some as yet unknown mechanism? Do singularities arise in our universe as the outcome of violent collisions? Can gravitational waves carry information about the nature of the elusive dark matter?

I will describe the science encoded in a gravitational wave signal and what the upcoming years might have in store regarding fundamental physics and gravitational waves.

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The Mathematics Colloquium is a series of monthly talks organized by the Department of Mathematics of IST, aiming to be a forum for the presentation of mathematical ideas or ideas about Mathematics. The Colloquium welcomes the participation of faculty, researchers and undergraduate or graduate students, of IST or other institutions, and is seen as an opportunity of bringing together and fostering the building up of ideas in an informal atmosphere.

Organizers: Conceição Amado, Lina Oliveira e Maria João Borges.