Public events

BritGrav is a research meeting, but it seems a shame not to share our science with everyone! 2015 is an exciting year for gravitational physics. It marks the centenary of Einstein first publishing the field equations of general relativity. It will also see the first observations from Advanced LIGO, which trying to make the first direct detection of gravitational waves. To celebrate these, as well as the conference itself, we will be organising several public events. If you have any questions, please get in touch.

Public lecture

Following the close of the conference, we will be holding a public lecture. Prof. Jim Hough from the University of Glasgow's Institute for Gravitational Research will give a guest talk on the science of gravitational-wave detection and what to look forward to in 2015.

Gravitational waves—Advances towards detection
The detection of gravitational-wave signals is still one of the most challenging areas of experimental physics. And the reward for success will be considerable in that the information carried by these signals will give us new insight into the hearts of some of the most violent events in the Cosmos—from the formation of black holes to aspects of the evolution of the Universe. A global network of gravitational-wave detectors is now reaching the final stages of construction, with first data expected in 2015. The nature of gravitational waves, how the detectors work, and what the data from the detectors can tell us about the Universe we inhabit, will be discussed.

The lecture will be in the Large Lecture Theatre of the Poynting Physics building, which is marked on the campus map as R13. After the lecture, refreshments will be provided, and members of our research team will be available to answer questions.

Tickets are free, but we ask everyone to book in advance.

Gravitational physics masterclasses

Lycra Universe at Thinktank

The Astrophysics and Space Research group frequently run masterclasses on gravitational physics (from Galileo to Einstein). These can be targeted at students from key stage 3, 4 or 5, and normally consist of an interactive workshop plus a short talk. We cover topics such as gravitational waves and gravitational lensing, which are areas of research here in Birmingham.

BritGrav seems like an excellent excuse to hold some more workshops (perhaps as a supplement to material covered in the public lecture). If you are interested in bringing a class to attend a workshop, please contact us. We normally accommodate groups of up to ~20 in our classes.

Other activities

Black Hole Pong screenshot

Outside of BritGrav, we do run a variety of outreach activities on a regular basis. Hence, if you would like to learn more about gravity or the research we do here in Birmingham, but you can't make the BritGrav events, you need not miss out. We frequently attend science festivals, open days and run workshops for schools. The Astrophysics and Space Research group also runs regular Astronomy in the City evenings where you can find out about astronomy and astrophysics.

We also have some online resources that can be enjoyed at any time. We have an ebook on gravitational-wave detection. We also have some (free) games: Space Time Quest where you try to design the best gravitational-wave detector, and Black Hole Pong, which is a version of the classic game with a gravitational twist.