The Universe Speaks of Black Hole Collisions | Michael Landry

In 1916, Einstein used his Theory of Relativity to predict that gravity moved throughout the universe as tiny ripples in the very fabric of spacetime: gravitational waves. Scientists have searched exhaustively for these waves since the 1960’s. Physicist Michael Landry describes LIGO’s first direct detections of gravitational waves from colliding black holes, discoveries that have opened an entirely new field of astronomy, effectively allowing us to listen to the universe.

Dr. Michael Landry is Detection Lead Scientist with the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) in Hanford, Washington, and physicist with the California Institute of Technology (CalTech). An alumnus of the University of Calgary, Michael is acclaimed for his ground-breaking research in gravitational waves and his experimental pursuits with LIGO.

Prior to 2000, Michael also completed his Ph.D. at the University of Manitoba in strange quark physics. Michael’s research into gravitational waves began in 2000 when he joined LIGO as a postdoctoral scholar with Caltech. Michael has worked on many aspects of the LIGO experiment, including interferometer commissioning, leading the installation of advanced detectors and data analyses.

This collaborative work culminated in the first detection of gravitational waves from a binary black hole merger, announced by LIGO in February 2016.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at