IAS Workshop on Black Holes, Inflation and Gravitational Waves


The workshop aims to boost the research of understanding the fundamental nature of gravity. Black holes, the early universe (cosmic inflation) and gravitational waves are among the most active research areas for the study of gravity.

Black holes are the objects in our universe which are so dense that even light cannot escape their gravity. Recently major breakthroughs in the research of black hole physics include the discovery of gravitational waves from the merging black holes, and relating the black hole physics to “holography”, which conjectures that our universe is a hologram.

Cosmic inflation is the leading paradigm of the very early universe cosmology. During inflation, the infant universe expanded exponentially. The energy scale of inflation is expected to be much higher than that can be achieved in fundamental physics labs (such as the Large Hadron Collider). Thus, inflation is an ideal arena to understand fundamental physics, including the nature of gravity.

Gravitational waves are the ripples of spacetime. The direct discovery of gravitational waves in 2015-2016 is one of the major scientific breakthroughs in the past decades and opens a new era of gravitational wave astronomy. Relating the observation of gravitational waves to the understanding of gravity is an emerging research area since the discovery of gravitational waves.

These research areas are closely related. In fact, most of the invited speakers of the workshop work on at least two of these areas. Thus, an interdisciplinary workshop helps the researchers in getting new ideas to improve technologies, establishing collaborations in these research directions and getting an all-round view for the nature of gravity. The workshop also plays an important role in training our students as they have a chance to learn and interact with the participants.

As the proposed topics of the workshop are where Stephen HAWKING had made major contributions, the workshop is in memory of Hawking for his scientific discoveries.

Group Photo (Click here for more photos)

Organizers and workshop participants gather for a group photo.