Black holes are dark. That’s their essence. That’s the defining feature that earned them a name. They are dark against a dark sky. They are a shadow against a bright sky. A telescope has never found one unadorned. Bare black holes – those too solitary to tear down sufficient debris – in their obliterating darkness are practically impossible to observe, but not entirely impossible.
In the Roslyn S. Silver '27 Science Lecture, Janna Levin investigates the astronomer’s aspiration to detect black holes (and other cataclysmic events) that culminated in the discovery of the century: The first human-procured recordings of a gravitational-wave sound from the collision of two black holes 1.3 billion years ago.
Janna Levin is a Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Barnard College of Columbia University, and was named a Guggenheim Fellow in 2013.
This event is co-sponsored by the Barnard College Department of Physics and Astronomy.
Registration is preferred but not required.