Conferences - Seminars

  Tuesday 19 September 2017 12:15 - 13:30 CE 1 4

First Campus Lecture EPFL - Prof.Yves Meyer (Dr Honoris Causa 2017)

By Prof. Yves Meyer
Bio: Prof. Meyer was born in Tunisia in 1939, before emigrating to France and entering an undergraduate school there in 1957. After graduating, he became a maths teacher at a small French military school. In 1963, he applied to a doctoral program in Strasbourg, France and, over the decades, hopped from school to school in France. His mathematical inquiries were equally peripatetic: he developed important theories in a wide range of fields, including number theory and the Navier-Stokes theorem, which describes the flow of viscous fluids. Yves Meyers is professor emeritus in mathematics at the École normale supérieure Paris-Saclay in France. In 2017 he received the Abel Prize from the Norwegian Academy of Sciences and Letters for his pivotal role in the development of the mathematical theory of wavelets.

First Campus Lecture EPFL - Prof.Yves Meyer (Dr Honoris Causa 2017): "The role of time-frequency wavelets in the detection of gravitational waves"

Perturbations of space-time metric (gravitational waves) predicted by Einstein's theory of General Relativity are steadily sent to the Earth. These ripples travel at the speed of light through the Universe, carrying with them information about their cataclysmic origins. Before September 2015 such signals could not be detected. But on the 14th of September 2015 at 09:50:45 (UTC time) everything changed: gravitational waves were detected. They were produced during the final fraction of a second of the merger of two black holes to produce a single, more massive spinning black hole.

Time-frequency wavelets are playing a seminal role in the detection algorithm, as explained in this lecture. The tools which are used by Sergey Klimenko in the detection algorithm are the same which were developed by Henrique Malvar and others to process acoustic signals. This is a striking example of the Unity of Science.


Organization Presidency EPFL and APEL (Association des Professeurs de l'EPFL)

Contact Maureen Décosterd

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