Invitation to a public lecture

Gravitational waves, black holes and neutron stars

Christopher Berry, University of Birmingham (

May 10 from 5:30pm, Malostranské nám. 25, lecture room S5


In 1916, Albert Einstein first predicted the existence of gravitational waves—ripples in spacetime generated by moving masses. A century later, the international LIGO Scientific and Virgo Collaboration finally made the first direct observation of gravitational waves, verifying Einstein’s prediction. The discovery earned a Nobel Prize, but this is only the beginning of the story. Gravitational waves provide a new way of doing astronomy. By measuring them, LIGO and Virgo can observe merging black holes and neutron stars. These are some of the most extreme systems in the Universe, but ones that are almost impossible to study without gravitational waves. We will explore some of the insights that have come from the latest gravitational-wave observations, and what these mean for our understanding of the Universe.