Cosmic Tremors: The Quest for Colliding Black Holes

The 17th Annual Paul D. Bartlett, Sr. Lecture presented in association with the Harvard-Radcliffe Club of Kansas City, the Princeton Alumni Association of Greater Kansas City, and the Yale Club of Kansas City. Yale astrophysicist Priyamvada Natarajan will trace the history of the idea of black holes and present our evolving understanding of how they form and grow.

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Christoph Clavius

Christoph Clavius, a Jesuit astronomer, was born Mar. 15, 1538.  Clavius joined the Society of Jesus in 1555, when the Jesuit order was only 15 years old (and he was but 17).  Clavius went on to teach at the Collegio Romano and played a major role in introducing...

Francesco Bianchini

Francesco Bianchini, an Italian astronomer, was born Dec. 13, 1662.  Bianchini found favor in the Roman Curia of three successive popes.  He first made his mark with a meridian line that he installed in the church of Santa Maria degli Angeli in Rome, a feat we will...

Maria Cunitz

Maria Cunitz, a Silesian astronomer, died Aug. 22 (or Aug. 24), 1664, at the age of 60, or perhaps 54 (her birth year is debated; her birth date is unknown). Silesia was then comprised of what is now southwestern Poland, small parts of eastern Germany and some bits of the northern Czech Republic. Maria never had any formal education, but she had educated parents, and she mastered…

Bernhard Walther

Bernhard Walther, a German merchant and astronomer, died June 19, 1504; his birth date is unknown. Walther, a resident of Nuremberg, was the intellectual and instrumental heir of Johannes Regiomontanus, the Königsberg astronomer who moved to Nuremberg in 1471 and set up the first scientific printing press, intending to publish not only Ptolemy’s Almagest, but also his own Epitome of the Almagest. His ambitions were nipped when…