Perimeter Institute: ‘Black Hole Blues and Other Songs From Outer Space’

The universe has a soundtrack that can reverberate like a drum, says leading cosmologist and theoretical physicist Janna Levin.

More than a billion years ago, two black holes collided, resulting in gravitational waves — ripples in spacetime. The waves created sounds that, until recently, technology couldn’t capture.  But with the construction of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO), a sophisticated and sensitive measurement device, those sounds can now be recorded and understood.

On May 3 at 7 p.m., Levin, who teaches physics and astronomy at Columbia University, delivered a public lecture at Waterloo’s Perimeter Institute focused on her own research into black holes — the topic of her latest book, Black Hole Blues and Other Songs From Outer Space. She delved into gravitational waves and explain what recording them has contributed to our understanding of the universe.

The Perimeter Institute’s public lectures are held approximately once a month. TVO is streaming the entire 2016–17 series.