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WFU Physics Colloquium

TITLE: Black Holes and Gravitational Waves

SPEAKER: Professor Steven Detweiler,

Department of Physics,
University of Florida

TIME: Wednesday November 13, 2013 at 4:00

PLACE: Room 101 Olin Physical Laboratory

Refreshments will be served at 3:30 PM in the Olin Lounge. All interested persons are cordially invited to attend.


John Wheeler popularized the name "Black Hole" in 1967. Ever since, these unusual objects have been invoked to explain a surprisingly diverse range of phenomena. Today we apparently observe black holes with a wide variety of masses and in many different environments. However we have rather scant evidence that these objects are actually the black holes of General Relativity rather than, say, small massive object which do not obey the rules of Einstein's gravity.

Gravitational waves provide explanations for a completely different set of phenomena. However, their direct detection continues to be a rather elusive goal. It is possible that sometime soon (five to ten years? or maybe only three years?) gravitational waves will indeed be detected, and perhaps this event will give us direct evidence that the black holes which we observe are indeed the black holes of Einstein's gravity.

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100 Olin Physical Laboratory
Wake Forest University
Winston-Salem, NC 27109-7507
Phone: (336) 758-5337, FAX: (336) 758-6142