SLAS Regular Meeting
Friday, October 21, 2016 7:30pm
Splitting Hairs Over the
Distance to the Nearest Star
Dr. Kater Murch
Dr. Kater Murch of Washington University
will be featured at the October meeting of the
St. Louis Astronomical Society. The meeting
will begin at 7:30 PM Friday, October 21, in
McDonnell Hall, Room 162, on the Washington University campus, Saint Louis, MO
On September 14, 2015, ripples in the fabric of the universe – gravitational waves – were
detected by the new LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory) facility.
The waves were caused by the merger of two
black holes far away in space, more than 1.3
billion years ago. That violent event stretched
and compressed space by less than the width
of an atom. The measurement of that small of
a ripple challenges our most advanced technology. It also pushes the limits allowed by
quantum mechanics, the branch of physics
involved with matter and energy at very small
scales. Dr. Murch will talk about the limits on
the precision of measurements imposed by
quantum mechanics. He will explain how scientists using LIGO and other instruments are
learning to view the universe through gravitational waves rather than light waves.
Dr. Kater Murch is an Assistant Professor
in the Department of Physics at Washington
University. He received his Doctoral degree
from the University of California in 2008 and
joined the Washington University faculty in
2013. His research interests involve superconducting electrical circuits, quantum
computers, and experiments on the limits of quantum
Introduction of Officers and Visitors
Main Speaker: Kater Murch
Astro 101: Mission Control
Attendance Prizes in October
Star Parties - Highlights:
Eclipse Task Force
SLAS Coffee Mugs for Sale!
Infini-tees Shirts for Sale!
Eclipse Glasses for Sale!
Eyepiece kits for sale