Physics is the study of matter and energy and the properties that govern them.
Regardless of whether you're interested in majoring in physics or just taking a few introductory courses to satisfy your curiosity, the physics department at Colorado College offers a diverse selection of courses to fit anybody's needs. Feel free to stop by to ask a few questions, engage a professor in deep philosophical discussions, or grab a few snacks from the department office. Our door is always open!
Black Holes & Gravitational Waves:
LIGO's new view of the Cosmos
Tuesday May 3 at 7pm in Edith Kinney Gaylord Cornerstone Arts Center in the Richard F. Celeste Theatre.
In the early morning hours of 14 September 2015, a long-awaited gravitational wave signal came booming out of the sky, triggering the twin LIGO detectors in Hanford, Washington and Livingston, Louisiana. The signal was the signature of two black holes, about 30 times more massive than the Sun, merging to form a new, larger black hole. The event happened 1.3 billion lightyears away, and the information has been travelling toward Earth since before bacteria existed on our planet. In this chat, we'll talk about this momentous discovery --- how we found out about it, what LIGO saw, what it taught us about the Universe, and what the future holds in store for us now.
Shane Larson is a research associate professor of physics at Northwestern University, where he is a member of CIERA (Center for nterdisciplinary Exploration and Research in Astrophysics). He is also an astronomer at the Adler Planetarium. He works in the field of gravitational wave astrophysics, specializing in studies of compact stars, binaries, and the galaxy. He works in gravitational wave astronomy with both the ground-based LIGO project, and future space-based detectors for NASA.
Shane grew up in eastern Oregon, and was an undergraduate at Oregon State University where he received his B.S. in Physics in 1991. He received an M.S. in Physics (1994) and a Ph.D. in theoretical physics (1999) from Montana State University. Before moving to Northwestern, he was a tenured associate professor of physics at Utah State University. He was formerly a postdoctoral scholar at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, then at Caltech, and finally at Penn State.
He is an award winning teacher, and a Fellow of the American Physical Society.
He currently lives in the Chicago area with his wife, daughter and cats. He contributes regularly to a public science blog at
writescience.wordpress.com, and tweets with the handle @sciencejedi .