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EVENT | 26 September | Time travel and gravitational waves – What makes Albert Einstein so great

    Have you heard of black holes, neutron stars, or Big Bang theory? How do we even know they exist? These events trigger vibrations in the fabric of space-time and are further observed by us as gravitational waves.

    Albert Einstein predicted back in 1916 that distances stretch and contract almost immeasurably when such a gravitational wave passes by. A hundred years later, the US detector LIGO managed to measure that phenomenon for the first time.

    Date + time

    26 September 2023 (14:00 – 17:00)

    Location + Parking

    Brightlands Smart Services Campus
    Smedestraat 2
    6411 CR Heerlen

    When visiting this event, parking facilities are available at Q-Park ‘t Loon, about 5 minutes walking distance to the campus.

    Now we are looking into the next generation telescope – The Einstein Telescope.

    The Einstein Telescope is an advanced gravitational-wave observatory currently in the planning stage. The border region of the Netherlands (South of Limburg), Belgium, and Germany is an ideal location to house this Einstein Telescope. Not only because of its tranquility and stable soil, but also because of the strong ecosystem of knowledge institutions and high-tech companies.

    This new observatory will detect up to a thousand times more sources of gravitational waves than any of its predecessors. A challenge of global proportions, with fantastic opportunities for science and technology.

    A continuous research effort has been carried out in our region, even before the build started. Under the Einstein Telescope Technology project, the University of Maastricht, the University of Utrecht, and Open University collected a group of researchers to explore the opportunity to apply artificial intelligence to this complex subject.

    The developed artificial intelligence can also be applied to many other industries. For instance, anomaly detection in fraud and securities? Pattern recognition in trading? This leaves many more opportunities to be explored.

    On September 26th at Brightlands Smart Services Campus Heerlen, you will hear a great story from Professor Dr. Chris van den Broeck about gravitational waves, followed by two PhD candidates, Stefano Schmidt and Tom Dooney introducing novel analysis methods using artificial intelligence technology.

    This event is a part of the Einstein Telescope Technology project and is realized with the help of a subsidy from the OP-Zuid program (EU, MinEZK, Province of Limburg).


    13:30 – 14:00 Walk-in
    14:00 – 14:05Opening and welcome
    14:05 – 14:55Prof. Dr. Chris van den Broeck: The gravitational waves – what you should know
    14:55 – 15:15Stefano Schmidt: Feature Anomaly Detection: a novel pipeline to extract signals from gravitational waves
    15:15 – 15:35Tom Dooney: Using Conditional GAN to analyze gravitational waves
    15:35 – 17:00Drinks and networking

    Meet the experts

    Einstein sprekers

    Left to rigth: Chris van den Broek, Stefano Schmidt, Tom Dooney

    Prof. Dr. Chris van den Broeck is the chair of Gravitational Waves Physics at Utrecht University. The research of his group focuses on using gravitational wave observations to investigate the dynamics of spacetime, to probe the nature of ultra-compact objects such as neutron stars and black holes, and to further our understanding of the Universe as a whole.

    Stefano Schmidt: Ph.D. student at Utrecht University and a part of the Virgo collaboration that maintains a gravitational wave detector in Italy. He published a number of articles about waveform modelling.

    Tom Dooney: Learning Researcher at the Centre for Actionable Research Open Universiteit. His focus is to use AI to generate synthetic data to extract useful information from gravitational waves.