Cambridge Astronomical Association
Cambridge Young Astronomers


Speaker Meeting

Multi-messenger Astronomy
Friday 21st February 2020
Start time : 20:00

Speaker : John Wills

Traditional astronomical observations have long used the visible part of the electromagnetic spectrum and means been have developed to detect signals at many other parts of the spectrum from radio wavelengths all the way to X rays and gamma rays.
In addition information can now be gathered from the detection of particles, at all energies, ranging from that of neutrinos to cosmic rays.
Finally the successful development of three sensitive gravitational wave detectors provides yet another source of information.
The integration in the monitoring of more than one of these kinds of detector provides the opportunity for a better understanding of nature than that provided by observation of the separate phenomena on their own.

John worked as an electrical engineer and manager and, as he saw retirement approaching, he took an honours degree in Natural Sciences, focusing on astrophysics. His final dissertation was a literature survey on Gamma Ray Bursts, for which no text book was then available. This required him to find, and work directly from, the relevant professional scientific papers to get a grasp of the entire field. John completed his degree in 2006 and many of the trends that he identified then have continued and lead directly to the present developments in multi-messenger astronomy.

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