Gravitational Wave Astronomy: Opening a New Window on the Universe

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226 - Gravitational Wave Astronomy: Opening a New Window on the Universe

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Exhibit Booth Description: As we celebrate the centenary of Einstein's General Relativity, we stand on the threshold of detecting directly one of its key predictions: gravitational waves - the 'ripples in spacetime produced by some of the most violent events in the cosmos. Our exhibition explores how astronomers around the world are searching for gravitational waves, across a wide spectrum of wavelengths and using a range of ingenious observational methods: from ultra-precise laser interferometers that are sensitive to spacetime displacements smaller than the width of a proton, to precision timing measurements of radio pulsars that seek to utilize the entire Galaxy as a gravitational wave observatory. Learn about the current status of this exciting new field, the imminent prospects for the first direct detections of gravitational waves - from coalescing compact binaries and other sources - and the enormous astrophysical potential of future gravitational-wave detectors, both on the ground and in space.