Black Holes and Gravitational Waves: Our Astounding Universe
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The last few years have provided us with beautiful images of the universe from the James Webb Space Telescope and the final light from around the horizon of a black hole with the Event Horizon Telescope. In 2015, gravitational wave detectors, such as the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO), "heard" the first waves from the collisions of black holes and neutron stars. These astronomical data are telling a story of our universe that is shaping the future of astronomy and physics. Join me in exploring some of what that story is teaching us about our astounding universe.
Deirdre Shoemaker is a physics professor and the director of the Center for Gravitational Physics at the University of Texas at Austin and a member of the Weinberg Institute. Her research interests center on black holes and gravitational waves, understanding these and other aspects of strong gravity, and how it reveals itself in the universe. To that end, Shoemaker works with gravitational wave detector teams to work toward understanding gravitational physics. Shoemaker is a member of LIGO Scientific Collaboration, the Cosmic Explorer Consortium, and the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) Consortium where she co-chairs the Waveform Working Group. She has won the National Science Foundation (NSF) Career award and is a fellow of the American Physical Society.
She received her bachelor's degree in physics, astronomy, and astrophysics from the Pennsylvania State University and her PhD in Physics from the University of Texas at Austin. She was a postdoctoral fellow at Penn State and Cornell University before joining the faculty at Penn State in 2004. She moved to the School of Physics at the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2008 and to the Department of Physics at the University of Texas at Austin in 2020.
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