Speaker: Marco Bruni
Location: Vectis Astronomical Society, Isle of Wight
In this talk I will summarise the developments of the applications in astrophysics and cosmology of Einstein theory of gravity, General Relativity, presented in 1915. Einstein was successful in explaining the known precession of Mercury’s perihelion, and his theory predicted bending of light, which was observed in 1919. The blackhole concept came later, and we now have astronomical proofs of the existence of blackholes, from few solar masses to the supermassive blackholes at the centre of many galaxies. General relativity is at the base of cosmology, the science of the universe as a whole. Gravitational waves are the most elusive prediction of Einstein theory: I will explain how they work and illustrate the current experiments that should detect them in the near future.