Dennis Sciama Memorial Lecture

Starting from 2016, the Sciama lectures are part of the SISSA general colloquia.

Past lectures

Sounds of Silence: Listening to the Universe with Gravitational Waves

Alessandra Buonanno (Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics, Potsdam-Golm)

17:00, 16 November 2016, Aula Magna, SISSA

One hundred years after Einstein predicted the existence of gravitational waves on the basis of his theory of General Relativity, LIGO announced the first observation of gravitational waves passing through the Earth emitted by the collision of two black holes one billion three-hundred million light years away. The detection of gravitational waves constitutes a major scientific discovery, as it permits a new kind of observation of the cosmos, quite different from electromagnetic and particle observations. In this lecture I will review the quest for gravitational waves, which culminated with the recent discovery by LIGO, and discuss how those new astronomical messengers can unveil the properties of the most extreme astrophysical objects in the universe.

The Unity of the Universe

David Deutsch (Oxford)

3 March 2016, Oxford

Dennis Sciama's 1959 book The Unity of the Universe was ostensibly about the Steady State theory, a cosmological/astrophysical theory which was to be comprehensively and irreversibly refuted by observations only a few years later. But it wasn't really about that. It was really about an idea that was not refuted and is deeper than any cosmology, namely the unity referred to in the title. Whether by coincidence or not, it is re-emerging as important in my current preoccupation, constructor theory.

What do Black Holes and the Big Bang tell us about the nature of Quantum Mechanics?

Roger Penrose (Oxford)
25 January 2002 in Trieste, 13 May 2002 in Oxford

Cosmology and Local Physics

George Ellis (Cape Town)
14 November 2003 in Trieste, 21 November 2003 in Oxford

The Origin of the Universe

Stephen Hawking (Cambridge)
in Oxford with an interactive audio-visual link to Trieste, 24 February 2006

The Constants of Nature

John Barrow (Cambridge)
21 April 2008 in Trieste, 21 November 2008 in Oxford

Mach's Principle as the Universal Basis of Dynamics

Julian Barbour (Oxford)
12 November 2009 in Trieste, 27 November 2009 in Oxford

Astrophysical Black Holes and E = Mc2

Marek Abramowicz (Göteborg/Warszaw)
3 June 2010 in Trieste, 19 November 2010 in Oxford

Black Hole Research: A New Golden Age

Kip S. Thorne (Caltech)
25 May 2011 in Trieste, 27 May 2011 in Oxford

From Planets to Universes

Martin Rees (Cambridge)
11 November 2011 in Oxford, 16 April 2012 in Trieste

Lorenz, Gödel and Penrose: New perspectives on determinism and unpredictability, from fundamental physics to the science of climate change

Tim Palmer (Oxford)
1 March 2013 in Oxford, 22 May 2013 in Trieste

Galaxies and the intergalactic medium

James Binney (Oxford)
7 May 2014 in Oxford, 4 June 2014 in Trieste

Superstring theory and the landscape of string vacua

Philip Candelas (Oxford)
29 April 2015 in Oxford, 4 June 2015 in Trieste