Gravitational Wave Symposium

Imperial College London

Imperial College London

Blackett Laboratories LT1 lecture theatre South Kensington Campus, London SW7 2AZ

A half day physics meeting on gravitational waves. 

Leading scientists from the Astro and HEP communities will present the recent discovery of gravitational waves and future prospects of this new field in fundamental physics. The talks are aimed at interested researchers at all levels across all of London's universities. 

Registration free at charge required for organisational reasons.


Invited Speakers:

  • Dr Gabriela Gonzalez (LSU, USA), LIGO spokesperson
  • Dr Marcelle Soares­-Santos (Fermilab, USA), DES & LIGO collaborator
  • Dr Eugene Lim (King's College London) - Theory
  • Prof Tim Sumner (Imperial College London) - LISA
  • Prof Giles Hammond (Edinburgh) - UK contributions


We appreciate the support by the various universities in and around London and the Astro, Gravitational Wave and HEP branches of the IOP to organise this event.

 Organising Committee:

  • Bjoern Penning (Bristol & Imperial College London)
  • Andreas Korn (University College London)
  • Teppei Katori (Queen Mary)

Advisory Committee:

  • John Ellis (King's College London)
  • Malcolm Fairbairn (King's College London)
  • Marcella Bona (Queen Mary)
  • Hiranya Peiris (University College London)
  • Lucian Harland-Lang (University College London)




  • Adam Christopher Elwood
  • Adam Dobbs
  • Adelie Gorce
  • Adrian Bayer
  • Akram Khan
  • Alan Barnes
  • Albert Dow
  • Alexandre Adler
  • Amelia Drew
  • Amir Sanjari
  • Andreu Font-Ribera
  • Andrew Stuart Bell
  • Andrew Tolley
  • Angelo Giacomo Zecchinelli
  • Anisha Vadher
  • Arianna Renzini
  • Arttu Rajantie
  • Artur Sztuc
  • Balagardash Bashirov
  • Baptiste Jost
  • Bjoern Penning
  • Candice Basson
  • Christian Trenkel
  • Christopher Ho
  • Ciarán Conneely
  • Claudia de Rham
  • Constance Mahony
  • Daniel Hollington
  • David Marsh
  • David Miller
  • David Rodriguez
  • Dries Seynaeve
  • Ed Daw
  • Ela Poplawska
  • elena massera
  • Elisabeth NIEL
  • Elliot Leader
  • Elliot Leader
  • Emanuele Moscato
  • Emir Gumrukcuoglu
  • Farid Ibrahimov
  • Felix Kress
  • Gavin Davies
  • Geoff Hall
  • Ghazal Darougheh-Daftar
  • Giacomo Marocco
  • Giles Hammond
  • Giulia Gubitosi
  • Gleb Lukicov
  • Glen Cowan
  • Hal Hovland
  • Harry Johnston
  • Heather Campbell
  • Hiranya Peiris
  • Ibles Olcina
  • Ilina Vasileva Korn
  • Jack Devlin
  • James Cook
  • James Dodd
  • Jelena Gorbaciova
  • Jergus Strucka
  • Jesal Mandalia
  • Jim Dobson
  • Johan Borg
  • John Quenby
  • John Thompson
  • John Veitch
  • Jonathan Braden
  • Jonathan Butterworth
  • Jonathan Davis
  • Jonathon Baird
  • Jordan Nash
  • Jose Miguel No
  • Josh Reid
  • Julia Sedgbeer
  • Kamran Derakhshani
  • Katy Clough
  • Krishna Naidoo
  • Lauren Rowland
  • Lorenzo Pieri
  • Lorne Whiteway
  • Luca Mastrolorenzo
  • Luisa Lucie-Smith
  • Mahdi Taani
  • Mairi Sakellariadou
  • Malcolm Fairbairn
  • Malte Hecker
  • Marcelle Soares-Santos
  • Marco de Cesare
  • Mark Lancaster
  • Mark Smith
  • Martin Rey
  • Marzia Rivi
  • Matt Stott
  • Matthew Mostert
  • Melissa Uchida
  • Michalis Agathos
  • Michele Cascella
  • Miha Zgubic
  • Nellie Marangou
  • Niall Jeffrey
  • Nick Prouse
  • Oliver Denton-Turner
  • Oliver Gould
  • Oliver Leicht
  • Pablo Jimeno
  • Pat Scott
  • Patrick James Dunne
  • Patrick Mann
  • Patrick Tunney
  • Paul Dauncey
  • Peter Barker
  • Peter Grimley
  • Peter Kalmus
  • Peter Scharbach
  • Peter Wass
  • Phillip Litchfield
  • Pierre Lasorak
  • Prakash Sarnobat
  • Rachel Hughes
  • Rebecca Lane
  • Riccardo Di Maria
  • Rob Taylor
  • Robert Flack
  • Rongrong Cai
  • Roxana Alduelea
  • Ruben Saakyan
  • Ruslanas Barejevas
  • Ruth Ayers
  • Sally Shaw
  • Sam Whittington
  • Samuel Baxter
  • Sarah Malik
  • Scott Melville
  • Sebastian Cespedes
  • Sebastian Fischetti
  • Selim Hotinli
  • Shuang-Yong Zhou
  • Simon Jolly
  • Siyuan Yan
  • Stephen Burke
  • subhanjoy mohanty
  • Suman Majumdar
  • Susana Molina Sedgwick
  • Tarso Franarin
  • Teppei Katori
  • Thomas Helfer
  • Timothy Parsons
  • Timothy Sumner
  • Toby Nonnenmacher
  • Tommi Markkanen
  • Tommi Tenkanen
  • Tracey Berry
  • Vasilis Konstantinides
  • vito palladino
  • Vukasin Milosevic
  • Wing Yan Ma
  • Yacine Haddad
  • Ying LIU
  • Yoshi Uchida
  • Yvonne Unruh
    • 14:00 14:55
      Searching for – and finding! gravitational waves 55m

      On September 14 2015, the two LIGO gravitational wave detectors in Hanford, Washington and Livingston, Louisiana registered a nearly simultaneous signal with time-frequency properties consistent with gravitational-wave emission by the merger of two massive compact objects. Further analysis of the signals by the LIGO Scientific Collaboration and the Virgo Collaboration revealed that the gravitational waves detected by LIGO came from the merger of a binary black hole (BBH) system. This observation, followed by another one in December 2015, marked the beginning of gravitational wave astronomy. I will describe some details of the observation, the status of LIGO and Virgo ground-based interferometric detectors, and prospects for future observations.

      Speaker: Prof. Gabriela Gonzalez (Louisiana State U, LIGO)
    • 14:55 15:20
      Gravitational Waves from GR and Beyond 25m

      I will review the theory behind gravitational waves: what are they and how do we calculate them in theory and practice, in particular for the aLIGO. I will then discuss what the recent LIGO detections can serve as tests of GR and other exotic physics.

      Speaker: Eugene Lim (KCL)
    • 15:20 15:40
      Coffee break 20m
    • 15:40 16:05
      Searches for optical signatures of gravitational wave events in the Dark Energy Survey 25m

      In this talk I present recent results of the Dark Energy Survey (DES) searches for optical counterparts to gravitational wave events detected by the LIGO/Virgo interferometers. DES is the greatest optical imaging survey yet, aiming at percent-level precision measurements of cosmological parameters from a combination of probes such as type Ia supernovae, galaxy clusters, and weak gravitational lensing. With a wide field of view and a large aperture telescope, the DES camera is well matched to the challenge. Our program achieves greater sensitivity than any other optical facility. In this talk I will also briefly discuss exciting prospect for future observing campaigns.

      Speaker: Marcelle Soares-Santos (Fermilab)
    • 16:05 16:30
      Opening up another gravitational window on the Universe: The LISA low-frequency gravitational wave mission 25m

      ESA has adopted ‘The Gravitational Universe’ as the science theme for its L3 mission which will be launched in the time frame 2029-2034. With the resounding success of the LISA Pathfinder mission, and the re-entry of NASA, the most likely mission scenario is LISA-like. The LISA Pathfinder results will be summarised and the consequent LISA science capabilities will be described. The mission timeline and technologies will be outlined.

      Speaker: Timothy Sumner (Imperial College London)
    • 16:30 16:55
      UK Hardware Development for Advanced LIGO 25m

      The Advanced LIGO detectors in Livingston, Louisiana and Hanford, Washington are the most sensitive length measuring devices in the world. Technology developed and delivered under the UK ALUK project include the fused silica monolithic suspensions, optical sensors/electromagnetics actuators and high voltage driver amplifiers. In this talk I will provide an overview of the fused silica suspension technology, pioneered in GEO 600, and the ongoing support/characterisation work at the sites.

      Speaker: Prof. Giles Hammond (Edinburgh)
    • 17:00 17:30
      Reception 30m
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