Star Talk: Riding the Tide on Black Holes

Star Talk: Riding the Tide on Black Holes

ASX will be holding our monthly Star Talk on February 26 at 8pm. The speaker is Eric Poisson, professor of physics at the University of Guelph. The talk will be given in McLennan Physical Labs (60 St George Street). The room is number 103 on the first floor. This is a FREE event and open for all ages.

Eric Poisson was born in Montreal, and grew up in Rimouski and Quebec City, which he considers to be his home town. He obtained a BSc from Laval University, and then a MSc and PhD from the University of Alberta. After postdoctoral fellowships at the California Institute of Technology and Washington University in St. Louis, Eric joined the faculty at the University of Guelph, where he teaches physics at the undergraduate and graduate levels, and carries out research in gravitational physics, with a focus on black holes and gravitational waves.

In 2005 Eric was awarded the Herzberg Medal by the Canadian Association of Physicists, and in 2008 he was elected Fellow of the American Physical Society. He is a member of the editorial board for two prominent research journals, Classical and Quantum Gravity and Physical Review Letters. He is the author of two graduate-level textbooks, “A Relativist’s Toolkit”, and “Gravity: Newtonian, post-Newtonian, Relativistic” (co-authored with Clifford Will).

Eric Poisson writes, “General relativity, Einstein’s greatest scientific achievement and today’s most accurate description of gravitation, is turning 100 this year. Black holes, the most striking predictions of general relativity, are currently in the process of being firmly established as real astrophysical bodies. In this talk I describe black holes, their properties as dictated by general relativity, and how they fit in the astrophysical universe. In particular, I will describe how a companion body can raise a tide on a black hole, much as the Moon raises a tide on Earth, and what consequences this can have on the motion of the two-body system.”

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