Particle and Astroparticle Physics Colloquium Hamburg

The renaissance of general relativity

by Prof. Clifford Will (University of Florida & Institut d’Astrophysique de Paris)

Zoom (DESY Zeuthen)


DESY Zeuthen


Einstein completed his monumental theory of General Relativity in 1915, and four years later became an international science superstar when astronomers announced that the Sun’s gravity bent light rays in agreement with his theory. Yet within a decade, interest and research in the theory declined, and by the late 1950s, people did not consider general relativity a suitable topic for a serious scientist to pursue. Yet 20 years later it had been reborn and had become one of the hottest fields of physics, with astronomers, particle physicists and experimentalists, once disdainful of the theory, now joining the fun. In this talk, I describe what happened to cause this renaissance, culminating in the stunning 1979 announcement by Joe Taylor of the detection of the inspiral of the orbit of the Binary Pulsar, caused by gravitational wave emission. I caught this rising relativistic wave in 1969 as a new student in Kip Thorne’s group at Caltech, and I will pepper the talk with personal experiences and encounters with many of the people who aided this rebirth.



Connection details at

Meeting ID: 996 1652 8733
Meeting Password: 733220

Organized by

Steve Worm