Dates: Monday-Wednesday September 19 - 21, 2016

Observing Einstein's Outrageous Universe: Gravitational Waves, Black Holes, Neutron Stars, Gravitational Lenses and the Big Bang

Who Should Attend: Museum & Planetarium Staff

What to Expect:
  • A better understanding of the BIG Picture of cosmology
  • Conversations with leading edge researchers
  • A day at the Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum to see innovative ways to bring current research into a museum
  • Practicum sessions that will allow you test drive programming ideas developed during the course
  • Tools and resources to bring the frontiers of physics to your home institution

Lecture Topics and Lecturers
  • Breakfast / Social & Welcome, Randall H. Landsberg
  • Lecture: 1 - Overview, Michael S. Turner
  • Lecture: 2 - Einstein the Person, Dennis Overbye
  • Lecture: 3 - Black Hole Zoo, Andrea Ghez
  • Lecture: 4 - Gravitational Waves, Daniel Holz
  • Lecture: 5 - Death of Stars, Daniel Scolnic
  • Lecture: 6 - Lensing, Michael Gladders
  • Lecture: 7 - Big Bang, Rocky Kolb
  • Lecture: 8 - General Relativity & Beyond, Joseph Lykken
  • Lecture: 9 - Wrap Up, Daniel Holz

Andrea Ghez
University of California, Los Angeles
Michael Gladders
Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics
Daniel Holz
Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics
Rocky Kolb
University of Chicago
Randall Landsberg
Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics
Joseph Lykken
Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory
Dennis Overbye
New York Times
Daniel Scolnic
Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics
Mark SubbaRao
Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum
Michael Turner
Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics

Course Description
A century ago Einstein put forth his theory of gravity. For the first 50 years it was an exotic theory with many untestable predictions thought to be irrelevant to our Universe. Beginning 50 years ago with the discovery of quasars and the cosmic microwave background (CMB), it has become clear that we live in Einstein’s Universe where the extraordinary is now the ordinary and his theory is in full bloom. To study the Universe today you have to understand the cosmic implications of Einstein's theory. We will focus on observable aspects of some of the most outrageous and compelling predictions of general relativity. These predictions include black holes, gravitational waves, gravitational lensing, and the Big Bang. We will explore the recent detection of gravitational waves from the merger of black holes 30 times the mass of our Sun, the spectacular fireworks associated with the death of stars and the formation of neutron stars and black holes, precise measurements of properties of the supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy, the bending of light due to the gravity of clusters of galaxies, and how we learn about the origin of space, time, and the earliest moments of the Universe.