Sensing Gravity: the Recent Renaissance in Black Hole Observations

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Coykendall Science Building

Coykendall Science Building · New Paltz, NY

How to find us

The meeting will be held in the auditorium at the Coykendale Science Building across from the planetarium

Location image of event venue


The last three years have seen an explosion in the direct detection of black holes. The LIGO-Virgo collaboration observed black holes, witnessed the merging of two neutron stars, and even may have captured the collision of a black hole with a neutron star. While the Event Horizon Telescope has taken the first ever direct image of a supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy M87. This collaboration used the entire Earth as radio interferometer.

Dr Haggard will review and explore these exciting discoveries and ask what sensing gravity will do for the future of astronomy and physics. He will share his recent ideas, illustrating the prospects for obtaining new insights into black holes, gravity, and cosmology.

The meeting, as always, will begin at 7:30 pm with regular club business and a recap of current activities and community opportunities. The night's presentation will begin at 8:00 pm.

A bit about Dr. Haggard: A physics professor at Bard since 2014, he is interested in the elusive harmony between gravity and quantum mechanics. Is time discrete? Is space made of fundamental grains and, if so, how do they mesh to create the smooth continuum we experience and measure? Can black holes truly outlive everything else in the universe? He develops simple, but robust models to address these questions drawing heavily from the classical and geometrical foundations of general relativity. He also enjoys mapping exoplanets.

He has also been an invited speaker at seminars and events around the world. Awards include a National Science Foundation research fellowship and a UC Berkeley Dissertation-Year Fellowship. He is a cofounder of the Compass Project at Berkeley, a program that supports diversity in the physical sciences.