CSI Gravity: Investigating mysteries in modern physics with black holes


  • Helvi Witek ⋅ US Department of Physics, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign


Black holes are among the most exciting predictions of Einstein's theory of general relativity, composed of the fabric of spacetime itself. Originally thought of as a mathematical curiosity, we now have overwhelming observational evidence that they exist in nature.
In the first part of my talk I will share with you some of these observations such as the motion of stars at the center of the Milky Way, the image of black holes taken by the Event Horizon Telescope and the gravitational waves emitted by colliding black holes detected by the LIGO/Virgo/KAGRA collaboration.
These observations have opened a rich discovery space for astrophysics, gravitation, particle and dark matter physics, and cosmology. To fully explore this discovery space, we need to link black holes observations and theoretical models. Therefore, in the second part of my talk, I will share with you recent advances in numerical relativity and how we can use them to investigate long-standing mysteries in modern physics.

About the Speaker

Helvi Witek, Department of Physics, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Helvi Witek is an expert on gravitational wave physics, numerical relativity and strong-field tests of gravity. After receiving her PhD at the University of Lisbon, she was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Cambridge and the University of Nottingham. Helvi was a Marie-Curie Fellow at the University of Barcelona and a Royal Society University Research Fellow in London, before joining the faculty at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign as an assistant professor. Helvi is co-chair of the LISA Waveform Working Group and co-Principal Investigator of the Einstein Toolkit cyberinfrastructure for computational astrophysics.



Article ID



Invited Presentations



How to Cite

H Witek, CSI Gravity: Investigating mysteries in modern physics with black holes, Proceedings of the Samahang Pisika ng Pilipinas 41, SPP-2023-INV-1A-01 (2023). URL: https://proceedings.spp-online.org/article/view/SPP-2023-INV-1A-01.