Janna Levin is a professor of physics and astronomy at Barnard, where she studies the early universe, chaos, and black holes. She's the author of “How the Universe Got Its Spots" and the novel “A Madman Dreams of Turing Machines.”

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Janna Levin is a Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Barnard College of Columbia University. Her scientific research concerns the early universe, chaos and black holes. Her second book – a novel, A Madman Dreams of Turing Machines – won the PEN/Bingham Fellowship for Writers and was a runner-up for the PEN/Hemingway award for "a distinguished book of first fiction." She is the author of the popular science book, How the Universe Got Its Spots: Diary of a Finite Time in a Finite Space.

She holds a BA in Physics and Astronomy from Barnard College with a concentration in Philosophy, and a PhD from MIT in Physics. She has worked at the Center for Particle Astrophysics (CfPA) at the University of California, Berkeley before moving to the UK where she worked at Cambridge University in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics (DAMTP). Just before returning to New York, she was the first scientist-in-residence at the Ruskin School of Fine Art and Drawing at Oxford with an award from the National Endowment for Science, Technology, and Arts (NESTA).

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How to catch a ripple in spacetime

June 17, 2016

How do you build a real-world machine to test the most abstract of theories? Janna Levin talks with Rai Weiss, one of the original designers of LIGO, the four-kilometer-long sensors that have now twice detected the distant reverberations of two black holes crashing into one another.

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