In order to celebrate the first observation of Gravitational Waves and its revolutionary implications to the multi-messenger astronomy, the Interuniversity Institute for High Energies IIHE(ULB-VUB) hosted a seminar in English for the general public, entitled “The Discovery of Gravitational Waves: The Sound of Black Holes” on Tuesday March 8th.

Yesterday Dr. Chad Finley from the Oskar Klein Centre in Sweden talked about the great history and remarkable discovery of gravitational waves in a public seminar at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. From Einstein’s prediction to the first recent direct detection announced by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) on February 11, 2016; the audience learned more about this century-long quest as Dr. Finley points out:


” Of course this proves Einstein was correct, but this most importantly opens a new window to understand our Universe.”


The seminar gave the extraordinary opportunity to listen to our Universe. The sound of black holes is a “chirp” that lies within the human hearing range. “This is the first time we can do astronomy with something else than our eyes” Dr. Finley concluded. The presentation was followed by many questions from the broad audience attending the talk.

About Dr. Chad Finley

After getting his PhD degree from Columbia University in New York, Dr. Finley worked as a postdoc at the Wisconsin IceCube Particle Astrophysics Center in Madison, Wisconsin, USA leading the search for neutrino sources using the IceCube neutrino observatory located at South Pole.

As a scientific researcher of the Oskar Klein Centre in Stockholm, Sweden, Dr. Finley continues to explore the observational opportunities between the IceCube collaboration and the LIGO collaboration. He is the author of the follow-up analysis realized by IceCube and one of the experts of the interpretation of the LIGO signal within the multimessenger context.


About the LIGO detectors

The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory has been designed to open the field of gravitational-wave astrophysics providing direct detection of gravitational waves. The multi-kilometer-scale detectors are located in Hanford, Washington, USA and in Livingston, Louisiana, USA. These interferometers have operated in unison to detect the first gravitational waves on September 14, 2015. More info:


About the IIHE

The Interuniversity Institute for High Energies is a common service to ULB and VUB. Its main topic of research is the physics of elementary particles using the high energy particle accelerators and experimental facilities at CERN (Switzerland) as well as on non-accelerator experiments such as Solid in Mol and IceCube at South Pole. Created in 1972, this institute has played a key-role in the Higgs boson discovery in 2012 in addition to provide many valuable contributions to astroparticle and particle physics. More info: