Founded 1871

Fall 2015 & Spring 2016 Lecture Series

Sponsored by The Policy Studies Organization
In Cooperation with the American Public University
The Policy studies OrganizationAmerican Public University

Special Event

PSW 2363
Friday, May 6th at 8:00 p.m.

LIGO, Gravitational Waves, and Colliding Black Holes

LIGO and the LIGO Result
Peter S. Shawhan

Gravitational Wave Theory and Black Hole Binaries
John G. Baker

Gravitational Wave Counterparts, the Fermi Mission and Beyond
Julie McEnery

black hole collision aerial of the LIGOa close up inside LIGO GW trace / LIGO results

Three scientists will discuss the recent, historical detection of gravitational waves created by the stupendous collision of two black holes. The discussion will cover the LIGO instruments that detected the waves, the theoretical understanding of gravitational waves, and the cosmic events that can warp the fabric of space-time with sufficient magnitude to propagate across the universe and be detected here on Earth, and the ways in which these events can be detected. Plans for future and more sensitive detectors will be discussed, and how the new field of gravitational wave astronomy is likely to increase our understanding of the universe and influence the fields of fundamental physics and cosmology. More ...



The Lectures, which are the centerpiece of all Philosophical Society of Washington meetings, are selected to appeal to those with a general interest in science and do not require a specialized knowledge of the subject. They always contain information that is current, explanations that are understandable and a few controversial issues to be challenged by a critical listener. The series is designed as much as possible to include a wide range of disciplines.

The meetings are open to the public, free, and no reservations are required. Dress is informal. Meetings are followed by lively conversation. All must exit the Cosmos Club at 10:30 p.m. Conversations are continued at another location.

Meeting Location

The John Wesley Powell Auditorium is adjacent to the Cosmos Club, 2170 Florida Avenue NW, Washington DC 20008. Entrance is through the club gate, the first right-hand entrance on Florida Avenue north of the intersection with Massachusetts Avenue NW. The auditorium entrance is to the left of the gate.

The Cosmos Club is within walking distance of the DuPont Circle Metro stop (Q Street exit), the Connecticut Avenue bus routes (L2, L4), and the Massachusetts Avenue bus routes (N2, N4).


Title Name
President Larry S. Millstein
Treasurer John Ingersoll
Program Chair Larry S. Millstein
Membership Chair James Garay Heelan
Corresponding Secretary Robin Taylor