You are invited to join us at UWA’s Octagon Theatre for a free double bill event featuring two outstanding physics communicators addressing two of the deepest questions of physics:
Professor Markus Aspelmeyer, Professor of Physics at the University of Vienna will address the question “What is a Photon?”
In 1905 Einstein introduced the idea that light comes as particles, now known as photons. While it took almost 70 years to provide an unambiguous experimental test of this hypothesis, the last decades have seen tremendous progress: research on the quantum properties of light (quantum optics) triggered the evolution of the whole field of quantum information processing, which now promises new technologies such as quantum cryptography and even quantum computers. Still, in spite of these developments, understanding the nature of photons remains as challenging as unveiling the mysteries of quantum physics. This lecture, designed for a general audience, will help to uncover this mystery.
Rainer Weiss, Nobel Laureate, inventor of gravitational wave detectors, and discoverer of gravitational waves, will tell the story of the century quest to detect Einstein’s elusive waves.
The observations of gravitational waves from the mergers of compact binary sources opens a new way to learn about the universe as well as to test Einstein’s theory of General Relativity in the extreme limit of extremely strong gravitational interactions in which objects travel near to the speed of light in highly curved space-time. Professor Weiss will describe some of the difficult history of gravitational waves proposed about 100 years ago, and the concepts used in the exquisitely sensitive instruments he first proposed, as well as the methods of finding and identifying the tiny signals. He will explain how the results relate to Einstein’s theory, and what this means for our knowledge of the universe. Professor Weiss’ talk will end with a vision for the future of gravitational wave astronomy.This event is co-sponsored by the AIP Congress and the UWA Institute of Advanced Studies.