Featuring Daniel E. Holz

On August 17, 2017, two global scientific collaborations, LIGO and Virgo, detected the gravitational waves from two neutron stars crashing into each other at close to the speed of light. Two seconds later, NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope detected a burst of gamma rays, and 12 hours later the Dark Energy Camera (DECam) telescope in Chile discovered a new “star,” which subsequently disappeared over the course of a couple of weeks. Join Daniel E. Holz to learn about UChicago’s role in this combination of discoveries, as well as the implications for Einstein’s theory of gravity and a completely new way to measure the rate at which the universe is expanding. We are at the dawn of a truly new kind of astronomy.

Contact alumniassociation@uchicago.edu or 773.702.2150.

Event Details

2:00 p.m. Registration and networking
2:30 p.m. Presentation and discussion
3:30 p.m. Reception

$10/Maroon Loyalty Society member or recent graduate (College alumni of the past 10 years and graduate alumni of the past five years)
Free for current academic year graduates and current students
Two complimentary registrations for members of the Chicago, Harper, Phoenix, and Medical and Biological Sciences Alumni Association philanthropic societies

Parking Information

Valet or self-parking is available for $26.

Featured Faculty


Daniel E. Holz is an associate professor of astronomy and astrophysics at the University of Chicago, and he holds appointments at the Enrico Fermi Institute and the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics. Holz studies the interface of general relativity, astrophysics, and cosmology, focusing on topics ranging from nearby black holes to distant supernovas, and from dark matter to the most massive superclusters of galaxies. He is currently exploring what we will learn about the universe from gravitational wave detectors; in particular, he is studying binary compact objects composed of black holes or neutron stars as powerful electromagnetic and gravitational wave sources. Holz is a member of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO), which has detected gravitational waves from black holes and ushered in the era of gravitational wave astronomy.

Check out the New York Times’s coverage of the neutron star collision story.