Friday, December 15, 2006

Talking the talk

Last night I was guest speaker for the Renfrewshire Astronomical Society (the other RAS). They are an amateur astronomy group based in Paisley. The society were very pleasant and fed me well with a mix Chinese and Indian take-away. My talk was a general overview on the subject of gravitational wave astronomy. As I told my audience, it's a bit rich me putting astronomy in the talk title when we haven't actually detected the things yet, but hey! I covered the history of gravity and gravitational wave, then moved on to the types of detector we use, and then covered the various astrophysical sources we expect to produce gravitational waves. I like to finish these talks (I've given a couple before) with an optimistic outlook of where this field is going - and also to try and justify putting in that astronomy word. I can only hope that I didn't bore the group, as my talk went on for nearly 1 hr 45 mins - I can waffle quite a bit on occaision. I got quite a few questions, most of which I made a fair attempt at answering intelligibly. So in the past couple of years now I've done the Aidrie Astronomical Society, the Stirling Astronomical Society, and now the Renfrewshire group, who next?!