UPDATED: 20 March 2020

Dear Colleagues,

The effects of corona virus has had major implications for meetings and gatherings across the world. The safety and security of delegates and attendees should not be compromised in any way. In the best interests of all concerned, we have decided that the GRAVITEX conference/school will be postponed to a later date, which will be announced once the covid-19 situation has been resolved. We will keep everyone informed of the new dates and other logistics.

The Local Organising Committee

Slightly over 100 years has passed since Einstein formulated the field equations of General Relativity, revealing a purely classical nonlinear theory of great mathematical richness and profound physical consequences. Nevertheless despite much effort and progress, understanding gravity remains elusive. On the theoretical front, a satisfactory quantum theory of gravity is still lacking, and although great progress has been made in testing the Einstein theory experimentally, we are not sure that its extrapolation to very small and very large scales is the last word. Attempts to incorporate and constrain “modified gravity” in cosmology, with a view toward explaining dark energy and dark matter, has been a very active area of theoretical inquiry. Moreover, by exploiting gravitational lensing, we are able to probe the distribution of mass in the universe directly. On the experimental front, decades of effort to develop gravitational wave detectors capable of detecting the gravitational waves from the coalescence of black holes and neutron star mergers have come to fruition with a first detection, and the years ahead promise to bring us rich data sets, allowing for precise tests of theoretical predictions of gravity in the strong-field regime. This event will include two components held in parallel: a conference, more aimed at specialists from Africa and around the world; and a school designed to present young African researchers with an overview of these exciting developments.

Conference Dates

The official period of the conference runs from the Opening Ceremony on Tuesday 4 August 2020 to lunch on Saturday 8 August 2020 at the Protea Hotel Edward by Marriott, Durban. The conference registration fee covers all meals (lunches, teas, dinners) in this official period. Each day will consist of three plenary lectures in the morning followed by two sessions of contributed talks or posters after lunch.

On Monday and Tuesday 3 and 4 August a School in conjunction with the conference will be in operation at the University of KwaZulu Natal. Attendance is by invitation and is offered at no cost to South African students and selected rest of Africa candidates by arrangement. Conference delegates that wish to attend all or part of the School sessions must contact the LOC for arrangements. It is possible that the costs of lunches and teas may be waived for registered conference delegates.

Local organising committee

Sudan Hansraj (Chairperson), Moumita Aich, Gareth Amery, Aroon Beesham (MUT), Martin Bucher, Megan Govender (DUT), Kesh Govinder, Rituparno Goswami, Matthew Hilton, YinZe Ma, Sunil Maharaj, Kavilan Moodley, Selvan Moopanar, Njabulo Mkhize (UniZul), Alfred Msomi (MUT), Sifiso Ngubelanga (DUT), Subharthi Ray

Scientific Organising Committee

Latham Boyle (Perimeter Institute, Canada), Rong Gen Cai (Chinese Academy of Sciences), Brian Chilambwe (Copperbelt University, Zambia), Cynthia Chiang (McGill University, Canada), Naresh Dadhich (IUCAA India), Claudia de Rham (Imperial College, London), George Ellis (UCT), Nick Kaiser (ENS Paris), Roy Maartens (UWC), Bishop Mongwane (UCT), Jonathan Sievers (McGill University, Canada), Jefta Sunzu (Dodoma University, Tanzania), Andrew Tolley (Imperial College London), Amanda Weltman (UCT)


Centre of Excellence (National Research Foundation and Department of Science and Technology, South Africa)

National Research Foundation of South Africa (NRF)

University of KwaZulu Natal (Hanno Rund Fund)

Yang Wu and Yong Zhu