Newswise — April 19, 2017 (Waterloo, Ontario, Canada) – More than a billion years ago, two black holes collided, creating a gravitational drumbeat that resonated throughout the universe. In 2015, humanity heard this rhythm for the first time with the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO). This detection of gravitational waves is opening new doors for exploring some of the most profound questions in physics.

In her May 3 public lecture at Perimeter Institute, physicist and author Janna Levin will explain this “discovery of the century” and what it means for the future of science.

The lecture, titled “Black Hole Blues and Other Songs from Outer Space,” is part of the Perimeter Institute Public Lecture Series, supported by Presenting Sponsor BMO Financial Group. The lecture will be webcast live on and via partner organizations on Wednesday May 3 at 7 PM ET.

Levin is the Tow Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Barnard College of Columbia University, where she studies the early universe, chaos, and black holes. Prior to this, Levin earned a PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and worked at the Centre for Particle Astrophysics at the University of California, Berkeley and Cambridge University.

A highly regarded author, Levin has written How the Universe Got Its Spots and A Madman Dreams of Turing Machines. Her most recent book, Black Hole Blues and Other Songs from Outer Space, forms the basis for her public lecture at Perimeter Institute.

Following her talk, Levin will answer questions from the online and in-house audience – including questions submitted prior to and during the talk via Facebook and Twitter (using the hashtag #piLIVE). Questions are welcomed from everyone – aspiring scientific explorers, school classes, physics and chemistry buffs, and general math and science enthusiasts.

View past PI Public Lectures and events, and find further details about PI’s research, training, and outreach activities at





Perimeter Institute is the world’s largest research hub devoted to theoretical physics. The independent Institute was founded in 1999 to foster breakthroughs in the fundamental understanding of our universe, from the smallest particles to the entire cosmos. Research at Perimeter is motivated by the understanding that fundamental science advances human knowledge and catalyzes innovation, and that today’s theoretical physics is tomorrow’s technology. Located in the Region of Waterloo, the not-for-profit Institute is a unique public-private endeavour, including the Governments of Ontario and Canada, that enables cutting-edge research, trains the next generation of scientific pioneers, and shares the power of physics through award-winning educational outreach and public engagement.



Eamon O’Flynn

Manager, Media Relations


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