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Gravitational Waves and Fundamental Physics [CANCELLED]
Prof. John ELLIS, Clerk Maxwell Professor of Theoretical Physics, King's College London; Physicist, European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN); IAS Senior Visiting Fellow
Date : 17 Feb 2020 (Monday)
Time : 3:00 - 4:30 pm
Venue : Kaisa Group Lecture Theater (IAS LT), Lo Ka Chung Building, Lee Shau Kee Campus, HKUST


The discovery of gravitational waves has opened a new window on the Universe, through which we can explore fundamental processes in astrophysics and cosmology, as well as the basic laws of physics at the microscopic level. After reviewing what has already been learnt from observations by the LIGO and Virgo experiments, the speaker will review the prospects for future experiments on earth and in space.


About the speaker

Prof. John Ellis is a British theoretical physicist, currently holding the Clerk Maxwell Professorship of Theoretical Physics at King's College in London. He graduated from King's College, Cambridge, in 1971 with a PhD in theoretical high-energy particle physics. After two post-doctoral positions at SLAC and Caltech, he settled in CERN (Geneva) and held a permanent position there from 1978. He was twice Deputy Division Leader for the Theory Division, and served as Division Leader for the period 1988–1994. He was a founding member of the LEPC and LHCC projects, and is currently chairing the committee investigating physics opportunities for future proton accelerators. He is also a member of the extended CLIC (Compact Linear Collider) Steering Committee and of the TLEP Steering Group.

Prof. Ellis's research interests focus on the phenomenological aspects of elementary particle physics with important contributions to astrophysics, cosmology and quantum gravity. A substantial part of his extensive work relate directly to experiment: interpreting results of searches for new particles and exploring the physics that could be done with future accelerators. He is accredited with being one of the pioneers of particle astrophysics: the interface between particle physics and cosmology. He has authored nearly a thousand scientific papers, some with over fifty thousand citations. He is the second most-cited theoretical physicist in the world and is currently very active in efforts to understand the Higgs-like particle discovered recently at CERN.

Prof. Ellis is an eloquent speaker, frequently invited to give public and educational lectures on particle physics and related topics. He is also well known for his relentless efforts to involve non-European nations and institutions in CERN scientific and technological activities.

Prof. Ellis was awarded the James Clerk Maxwell Medal and Prize (1982) and the Paul Dirac Medal and Prize (2005) by the Institute of Physics. He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of London in 1985 and of the Institute of Physics in 1991, and is an Honorary Fellow of King's College Cambridge and of the Serbian Physical Society. He has been awarded Honorary Doctorates by the University of Southampton, Uppsala University, the Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski", the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences and the University of Cape Town, and twice won the First Award in the Gravity Research Foundation essay competition in 1999 and 2005. He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the Queen's Birthday Honours 2012 for his services to science and technology.

For attendees’ attention


  Light refreshments will be served from 4:30 to 5:00 pm.
  Seating is on a first come, first served basis.
  In view of the Campus Access Controls currently applicable on HKUST campus, participants are required to present his/her identification document for verification before entering the campus area.
  If you are NOT a holder of a valid HKUST card (i.e. a student, staff, family, resident or temporary card of HKUST), you will need to register for attending this event by sending an email to ias@ust.hk with your name displayed on your identification document at least one working day beforehand.




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