The boy and I went to a Frontiers of Astronomy lecture at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History tonight to learn about gravitational waves from Dr. Kelly Holley-Bockelmann. Here’s a similar version of her talk:
For a quick run-down about the importance of gravitational waves: Top 5 Targets of a Gravity Wave Observatory.
I’d forgotten how much I missed hanging around a campus and going to random lectures and learning new things straight from the experts. That was one of the highlight of attending a university. Plus the snacks after!
It was my son’s idea to attend, and even though it was way past his bedtime, he learned a bunch, and even asked the astrophysicist an intelligent question about the “pressure” of gravitational waves that she was able to explain to a 3rd grader. It was definitely a more intelligent question than the one about time travel. I’m super proud of him for having the gumption to ask a question when he was the youngest in a room with hundreds of people in it.
After the lecture we went up to the observatory and got to take a gander at the moon. It was a first for both of us, and amazing! Then we had the aforementioned snacks, headed home, and he passed out in the car. I need to start looping myself in to the local lecture circuit. There are too many colleges around for me to continue ignoring the opportunities they provide.
I might even be able to haul along my son, since he seems to be into the science-related ones at least. I guess that runs in the family too.