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Food for Thought w/ Prof. Kung

Join us in the Club Room on Friday, November 17 from 12-1 PM for our third Food for Thought of the semester with Professor Kung, who will be giving a brief talk over catered lunch! Be sure to RSVP here to save your seat (and your lunch!). More information about Professor Kung’s discussion is below.

“Gravitational Waves, Colliding Neutron Stars, and Secrets in Science”

In August 2017, LIGO and Virgo observatories detected the first ever gravitational wave signal from the collision of two neutron stars. This event was quickly associated with electromagnetic radiation (light!) from a new source in a relatively nearby galaxy, NGC 4993. Rumors — and tweets — immediately began to fly through the astronomical community. But as more than 70 observatories watched the event and hundreds of papers were furiously drafted, the media and the general public was kept in the dark — even while the earlier detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes won 3 scientists the Nobel Prize! In this talk, I’ll discuss what gravitational wave are and how they are detected, describe this exciting binary neutron star merger event, and discuss the reasons for, and ethics of, secrecy in modern science.