What do gravitational waves sound like? – with Tessa Baker

From The Royal Institution.

In 2023 scientists detected the sound of gravitational waves for the first time. Find out more about gravitational waves and how they are detected, with cosmologist and astronomer Tessa Baker.

Watch the Q&A here: https://youtu.be/ZvAWb6br2OI
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00:00 Intro
01:16 A brief history of astronomy
04:09 New gravitational wave detection 2023
05:00 Newton’s ideas about gravity
07:44 Einstein’s theory of relativity (demo)
12:39 Einstein’s prediction confirmed during an Eclipse
15:58 ‘The ghosts of stars’: black holes & neutron stars
19:42 How are gravitational waves created? (demo)
25:15 How are gravitational waves detected?
31:16 The first detection of gravitational waves
35:44 Gravitational waves as the sounds of spacetime
41:20 The first neutron star gravitational wave detection
48:04 A race between gravitational waves and light (demo)
54:29 How do gravitational waves relate to dark matter?
57:12 New gravitational wave detections about to start
58:43 An app to detect gravitational waves

This talk was recorded at the Ri on 19 May 2023.

Tessa Baker is a cosmologist and gravitational wave astronomer at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL). Her research centres on the laws of gravity and their role in shaping our universe. To put new ideas about gravity to the test, she works with experiments both on the ground and in space, such as the Vera C. Rubin Observatory, the LIGO-Virgo-KAGRA gravitational wave detectors, and the LISA satellite mission. She is a Royal Society University Research Fellow and Reader at QMUL.

Baker completed her training at the University of Oxford. She spent periods living and working in Philadelphia, Boston, New York and Sydney before moving to start her research group at QMUL in 2019.

When not studying the cosmos, she likes to test gravity by hiking up significant things. She lives in south London with too many houseplants.

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