Janna Levin Interview

7 Jun, 2016 by

Janna Levin Interview

Just over a century ago, Einstein produced his general theory of relativity and predicted ripples in the fabric of space-time: gravitational waves.

But this was theoretical physics, there was no direct proof, and even Einstein himself vacillated on whether the waves might actually exist.

Last year, one of the biggest and most expensive pieces of scientific equipment in the world found the proof. LIGO, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory detected the collision of two black holes.

But what does that really mean, and how was this remarkable feat – of physics, of engineering, of financing – actually performed?

Janna Levin is a Professor of physics and astronomy at Columbia University and Director of Sciences at Pioneer Works. She’s previously written both non-fiction and the Pen/Bingham award winning novel, A Madman Dreams of Turing Machines. Now in Black Hole Blues she looks at the history of LIGO.

Janna joined Sky Kirkham to chat about colliding black holes, colliding egos, and the necessity of a void. Originally broadcast 26/05/2016. Black Hole Blues is out through Random House.

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