You are here: Home / News & Events / News / 2016 News / Penn State physicists on LIGO team that detects gravitational waves

Penn State physicists on LIGO team that detects gravitational waves

Main Content

Penn State physicists are part of the LIGO team which announced the direct detection of gravitational waves, ripples in the fabric of space-time that were predicted by Einstein in 1916. The discovery was announced at a press conference held at the National Science Foundation and published in Physical Review Letters. The data indicate that the gravitational wave originated in the merger of two black holes. Penn State has seven co-authors on the paper, including Chad Hanna, assistant professor of physics & co-chair of the LIGO compact binary coalescence group, Dr. Sydney Chamberlin, Ryan Everett, Professor Sam Finn, Dr. Ashik Idrisy, Dr. Duncan Meacher, and Cody Messick.

Right from the outset, Penn State's Institute for Gravitation and the Cosmos has played a forefront role in research on gravitational-waves. In 2001, the National Science Foundation funded a Physics Frontier Center at Penn State that brought together scientists from different areas, ranging from general relativity to astronomy and astrophysics to computer science, statistics and data analysis. Under the leadership of Sam Finn, also a founding member of the LIGO Scientific Consortium, the Center organized a very large number of focus sessions, workshops and outreach initiatives, adding a much needed cohesion to the then fledgling field of gravitational wave science. 

For more information about Penn State's role in LIGO, see: http://science.psu.edu/news-and-events/2016-news/LIGO2-2016