University of Minnesota
School of Physics & Astronomy

Abigail and John Van Vleck Lectures

Barry C. Barish

Ronald and Maxine Linde Professor of Physics, Emeritus
CALTECH, Pasadena, CA
Director, Global Design Effort for the International Linear Collider

Public Lecture
4:00 p.m., Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Tate Laboratory of Physics, Room 150, Van Vleck Auditorium
"Probing Einstein's Universe"
Reception to follow lecture in Physics 216

As a consequence of his theory of general relativity, Einstein predicted the existence of a new physical phenomenon called gravitational radiation. In this theory, concentrations of mass (or energy) warp space-time, and changes in the shape of such objects cause distortions called gravitational waves that propagate through the Universe at the speed of light. Almost 100 years later, these waves so fundamental to Einstein's theory are yet to be directly observed. A new generation of interferometric detectors represents an ambitious attempt to detect such waves from some of the most spectacular phenomena in the universe: colliding black holes, supernovae and even relic waves from the big bang. The science of gravitational waves, the status of the searches and the prospects for detection will be discussed.
4:00 p.m., Thursday, March 22, 2007
Tate Laboratory of Physics, Room 150, Van Vleck Auditorium
"The Next Great Particle Accelerator: The International Linear Collider"

There is a consensus among the worldwide high energy physics community that a TeV scale linear electron positron collider should be the highest priority long term goal for the field. This next great particle accelerator, together with the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN, will enable a comprehensive exploration of the TeV energy scale where many of the new phenomena we seek, like supersymmetry or possibly even extra dimensions could reveal themselves. The international community has chosen the superconducting rf technology to be the basis of the international linear collider final design, in anticipation of a construction project to begin in about 2012. A global design effort has been created to guide the R&D and technical design toward construction of the ILC. In this presentation, I will discuss the science motivation, the technology, and will review recent progress and plans toward this exciting future international facility.

Biography of Prof. Barish