This was an incredible week, not because of anything that happened specifically to me but because of what happened for all humankind. At SMU, we were visited by Prof. Tony Gherghetta from the University of Minnesota who gave a fantastic seminar at SMU on the subject of composite theories of new physics at the LHC. The physics community was abuzz with rumours about the press conferences and seminars planned by members of the LIGO Science Collaboration on Thursday, Feb. 11. The rumours, this time, proved to be true. The LIGO Science Collaboration announced the discovery of gravitational waves and the birth of a new form of astronomy. Jodi delivered the Clare Boothe Luce lecture at the University of Dallas that same day. The week closed out with a trip to Wisconsin for a nephew birthday party. What a week.
100 years ago, Albert Einstein published what is considered the foundational work of his theory of “General Relativity,” a scientific theory of space and time. Tomorrow, two large experiments and collaborations – LIGO and VIRGO – will present the status of their searches for one of the last undiscovered predictions of General Relativity: travelling distortions in spacetime called “gravitational waves.” Rumors are flying, hopes are high, and I am just waiting for their scientific papers.
Last week was a whirlwind of a week. I attended an awards banquet on Tuesday night for professors nominated for the SMU Honoring Our Professors’ Excellence awards, only to then have it revealed I had also been selected for a more significant honor. I delivered my Godbey Lecture on Thursday to celebrate 100 yeards of Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity. I hosted my first STEM “Facul-Tea” time on Friday. And… I caught my third cold or flu in two months. What a week.