ICTP's Salam Distinguished Lecture Series is an annual presentation of talks by renowned, active scientists. The aim is to showcase important research developments as well as provide a visionary forward view. The lecture series is supported by the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS).

There will be three talks as follows:
Thursday 27 January 2022: Lecture 1 @ 16.00 hrs
Friday 28 January 2022: Lecture 2 @ 16.00 hrs
Monday 31 January 2022: Lecture 3 @ 16.00 hrs

Abstract for the three lectures:
In 2015 the LIGO detectors observed, for the first time, a gravitational wave passing through the Earth produced by the collision of two black holes. Such an event was a milestone for astrophysics, and it provided a remarkable confirmation of the general theory of relativity by Albert Einstein. Since then, as many as ninety gravitational waves have been observed by the LIGO and Virgo experiments, including signals from neutron-star—black-hole binaries and binary neutron stars, which have ushered the field of multi-messenger astrophysics with gravitational waves.

In these lecture series I will start by reviewing the main characteristics of the new astronomical messengers produced in the dark and deep universe, provide an overview of the gravitational-wave sources, and highlight the main astrophysical results from the observations with LIGO and Virgo detectors. The latter rely on precise theoretical predictions of the two-body dynamics and gravitational radiation. Thus, in the second lecture, I will review the main analytical methods to solve Einstein equations, and discuss the synergetic approach that successfully combines analytical and numerical relativity to produce highly accurate waveform models. Finally, in the third lecture, I will discuss the most compelling and challenging findings from the LIGO-Virgo observing runs regarding gravity and fundamental physics. In these lectures, on several occasions, I will also discuss the bright future of gravitational-wave astronomy with the opening of new frequency bands on the ground (Einstein-Telescope/Cosmic Explorer) and in space (LISA) in the next decade.

Alessandra Buonanno studied theoretical physics in Pisa, and held faculty positions in Paris and at the University of Maryland, where she became full professor in 2010. She is a Principal Investigator of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration. For her contributions to LIGO and Virgo discoveries, she was awarded several prizes, including the 2018 Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz prize – the most prestigious research prize in Germany –, the 2021 Galileo Galilei Medal, 2021 Dirac Medal and the 2021 Balzan Prize. In 2021, she has been elected member of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, of the US National Academy of Sciences, and of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities. Buonanno is a Fellow of the International Society on General Relativity and Gravitation, and of the American Physical Society. She holds a research professorship at the University of Maryland, and honorary professorships at the Humboldt University in Berlin, and at the University of Potsdam.

Register in advance for this webinar:
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The talks will be livestreamed from the ICTP website. All are welcome to attend.
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