Spacetime theory posits that space and time as we know them are distorted by the gravitational pull of stars, including our own sun.

At the dawn of the 20th century, Einstein revolutionized our conception of reality, showing that space and time are not merely the stage on which the show unfolds, but dynamical entities that stretch, bend, and vibrate to give rise to the force we know as gravity. A century later, the vibrations of spacetime have been directly detected as gravitational radiation from colliding black holes, confirming Einstein’s prediction and ushering in a new era in observational astronomy.

How did physicists measure these minuscule vibrations, and what does it mean for our understanding of the universe? And what is the next revolution, fomenting right now, in our conception of space and time?

Sam Gralla, an assistant professor of physics at the University of Arizona, will discuss these questions in a lecture at the Arizona Senior Academy starting at 3:30 p.m. Thursday (March 23). His ASA talk will be an encore presentation of the “Space, Time, and Gravity” lecture he delivered in February as part of the UA College of Science series, “Rethinking Reality,”

Sam Gralla

After graduating from Yale, Gralla obtained a PhD in physics from the University of Chicago and then had postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Maryland and Harvard before coming to the UA in 2015.

He currently works on a variety of problems in gravitational physics, plasma physics, and astrophysics.

Written by Marcia Neugebauer, Academy Village Volunteer

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Physicists’ New Thinking on Space, Time, Gravity: March 2017