Searching for Gravitational Waves: An Update

Searching for Gravitational Waves: An Update

The College of Sciences invite the Georgia Tech community to join a live viewing of the news conference from Washington, D.C.

Date

February 11, 2016 - 9:30am to 10:30am

Location

Piedmont Room, Student Center Commons

Speaker

A century after Albert Einstein predicted the existence of gravitational waves, the National Science Foundation (NSF) gathers scientists for an update on efforts to detect these elusive ripples in the cosmos.

The College of Sciences invite the Georgia Tech community to join a live viewing of the news conference from Washington, D.C. 

At the news conference, scientists from California Institute of Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory) Scientific Collaboration will discuss efforts to observe and measure gravitational waves. Laura Cadonati, an associate professor of physics, is among the scientists gathering in Washington, D.C.

With the 100th anniversary of Einstein’s prediction, interest on gravitational waves has risen to fever pitch, and rumors have been swirling about whether the LIGO team and its partner, an international team based in Italy, have detected these waves.

After the update, Deirdre Shoemaker, an associate professor in the School of Physics and the director of the Center for Relativistic Astrophysics, will describe the role of Georgia Tech researchers in this effort and answer questions.

LIGO is a system of two identical detectors carefully constructed to detect incredibly tiny vibrations from passing gravitational waves. It was conceived and built by MIT and Caltech researchers and funded by NSF, with significant contributions from other U.S. and international partners. The twin detectors are located 1,865 miles apart, one in Livingston, Louisiana, and the other in Hanford, Washington.