Department of Physics

Indian Institute Of Technology Madras , Chennai

The search for Gravitational Waves: ripples from the dark side of the Universe

Speaker : Prof. Sheila Rowan, Director, Institute for Gravitational Research, University of Glasgow, U.K.


Abstract :

A prediction of Einstein's General Theory of Relativity, gravitational waves (also called gravitational radiation) are amongst the most elusive signals from our Universe reaching the Earth - 'ripples in the curvature of space-time'. The information carried by these signals will offer a completely new view of the Universe, providing insight into the hearts of some of the most violent events in the Cosmos - from the formation of black holes to the primordial events following the Big Bang. A global network of Advanced gravitational wave detectors is now starting operation with expectations of direct observations opening up the gravitational window of the Universe during the next few years.

The nature of gravitational waves, how the detectors work (including a potential detector in India) and what the data from the detectors can tell us about the Universe we inhabit will be discussed during the talk.


Sheila Rowan is a Professor of Experimental Physics, leading a team of around 60 researchers at the Institute for Gravitational Research based at the University of Glasgow, UK in the hunt to detect and study gravitational waves from astrophysical sources. Her research interests include: gravitational wave detection on ground (GEO 600 and Advanced LIGO); ultra-sensitive mechanical systems, and investigation of materials of ultra-low mechanical loss, lasers for gravitational wave detectors.

Professor Rowan was awarded a Leverhulme Prize for Astronomy and Astrophysics in 2005 in recognition of the international impact of her research, appointed a Fellow of the Institute of Physics in 2006, elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2008, and made a Fellow of the American Physical Society in 2012.

Key Speaker Prof. Sheila Rowan, Director, Institute for Gravitational Research, University of Glasgow, U.K.
Guests None
Place Conference Room
Start Time 4:00 PM
Finish Time 5:00 PM
External Link None