Public Event: Gravitational Waves – Hear From The Experts

Hear from some world-leading experts on gravitational waves, and the status of the international network of detectors.

Date: Thursday 15th September
Time: 1930-2100
Venue: Centre for Student Life, Cardiff University

About this event

Since the first detection of gravitational waves in 2015, the international network of gravitational wave detectors has continued to grow and the number of black hole and neutron star mergers has continued to rise.

These developments are due to improvements in the precision technology used to detect gravitational waves, as well as a better understanding of the signals predicted by theories such as Einstein’s general relativity.

In this panel discussion, organised in collaboration with the LIGO-Virgo-KAGRA collaboration and Cardiff Astronomical Society, experts from across the LIGO-Virgo-KAGRA collaboration will answer questions about all aspects of the gravitational wave experiments, from their building and operation, to the detections to date, and looking ahead to the future.

Suggested age suitability: 14+


Cardiff University Centre for Student Life is situated close to the centre of Cardiff, on Park Place, very close to Cathays Station. While there is no parking on site, there is on-street parking on surrounding streets, particularly on/near Museum Avenue (5-10 minute walk away).

The Panel

Prof. Gabriela González (Louisiana State University) was a founding member of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration, and has participated intensely in the commissioning of the LIGO detector at the Livingston Observatory (Louisiana, US) since joining LSU in 2001. Her research interest is in the detection of gravitational waves with interferometric detectors. She was elected as the LSC spokesperson from 2011 until 2017.

Dr Nicolas Arnaud (CNRS & EGO) is a CNRS staff researcher, currently seconded at EGO (European Gravitational Observatory), the host laboratory of the Virgo gravitational-wave detector, where he works on detector characterisation. Nicolas has been involved for about 20 years in outreach and education activities. He has been the Virgo outreach coordinator for a couple years and is still active in disseminating LIGO-Virgo-KAGRA results to the French audience.

Dr Lionel London (Kings College London) his PhD from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2015 in Gravitational Wave Theory. He went on to post-doctoral work at Cardiff University from 2015 until 2019 and currently works at King’s College London as a Royal Society University Research Fellow. His research interests are gravitational wave signal modelling and data analysis and tests of general relativity.

Dr Hannah Middleton (University of Birmingham) is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Birmingham working on gravitational wave data analysis. She is also Editor-in-Chief of the LIGO Magazine, a free online publication with gravitational-wave news, stories behind the science, and more. When not working she likes knitting, photography, going out for walks, and vintage tractors.