initiated by Paul Ehrenfest in 1912
currently organized by Ana Achúcarro & Luca Giomi (read about its history)

Dinner participants: 67

van den Brand

Jo van den Brand


November 27

7:30 p.m.


Gravitational waves: Physics at the Extreme

The LIGO Virgo Consortium achieved the first detection of gravitational waves.  A century after the fundamental predictions of Einstein, we report the first direct observations of binary black hole systems merging to form single black holes. The detected waveforms match the predictions of general relativity for the inspiral and merger of a pair of black holes and the ringdown of the resulting single black hole. Our observations provide unique access to the properties of space-time at extreme curvatures: the strong-field, and high velocity regime. It allows unprecedented tests of general relativity for the nonlinear dynamics of highly disturbed black holes. In 2017 the gravitational waves from the merger of a binary neutron star was observed. This discovery marks the start of multi-messenger astronomy and the aftermath of this merger was studied with 70 observatories on seven continents and in space, across the electromagnetic spectrum. The scientific impact of the recent detections will be explained. In addition key technological aspects will be addressed, such as the interferometric detection principle, optics, sensors and actuators. Attention is paid to Advanced Virgo, the European detector near Pisa. The presentation will close with a discussion of the largest challenges in the field, including plans for a detector in space (LISA), and Einstein Telescope, an underground observatory for gravitational waves science.

The Colloquium Ehrenfestii takes place Wednesday evenings starting at 19:30 hours in the main auditorium of the Oort building. Before the Colloquium, there is a common dinner in the canteen located on the ground floor of the Oort building. This dinner starts at 18:00 hours sharp and is free of charge, under the condition that one attends the colloquium and that one has made a reservation before noon on the Tuesday preceding the colloquium.

Meal registrations may close earlier, when 80 persons have signed up.

Colloquium Ehrenfestii Program 2019

16 Jan

Ben Feringa (University of Groningen)

The Art of Building Small


13 Mar

Ruth Durrer (University of Geneva)

Testing General Relativity with Cosmological Observations


22 May

Paul Steinhardt (Princeton University)

The second kind of impossible


05 Jun

Seth Lloyd (MIT)

Quantum computing past, present, and future


11 Sep

Erwin Frey (Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich)

Emergence and Self-Organization in Biological Systems


25 Sep

François Graner (Paris Diderot University)

A maggot becomes a fly


27 Nov

Jo van den Brand (Nikhef/Virgo)

Gravitational waves: Physics at the Extreme


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