A special seminar on ‘gravitational waves’ was given by a Professor Pawel Nurowski from the Centre for Theoretical Physics, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, Poland. This seminar was held at the Department of Mathematics at King's College London on 28 April 2016.
The recent observation of gravitational waves by LIGO has revived interest in work on the theory of gravitational radiation done at King's and elsewhere over fifty years ago. After predicting gravitational waves in 1916 Einstein became uncertain about their physical reality. It wasn't until the 1950's and early 60's that their physical status was clarified, with important contributions to the theory being made by members of the King's relativity group such as Hermann Bondi, Felix Pirani and Roger Penrose. In 1958, Andrzej Trautman, visiting from Leopold Infeld's group, delivered a series of highly influential lectures at King's. In this talk the work of the Warsaw group, and Trautman in particular, will be discussed and its influence on the development of gravitationalwave theory will be explained.