Barry University Joins LIGO Scientific Collaboration to study gravitational waves

Apr 12, 2024

In the vast expanse of space-time, a revolutionary discovery was made in 2015 at the foundations of astrophysics: the direct detection of gravitational waves. These ripples in the fabric of spacetime, predicted by Einstein's theory of general relativity a century ago, were captured by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO), marking a new era in our understanding of the cosmos. 

At the heart of this groundbreaking discovery lies the LIGO Scientific Collaboration (LSC), a global network of nearly 1600 scientists hailing from over 100 institutions across 18 countries. The LSC is dedicated to unlocking the mysteries of the universe through the study of gravitational waves, and its contributions have reshaped our perception of the cosmos. 

The LIGO experiment employs two colossal interferometers—one in Hanford, Washington, and the other in Livingston, Louisiana—to detect gravitational waves. These waves are generated by cataclysmic events such as the merger of black holes or neutron stars, offering a unique window into the violent cosmic phenomena that shape our universe. 

Since its inaugural detection in 2015, LIGO has recorded approximately 100 gravitational wave events, each providing invaluable insights into the nature of our universe. From the collision of black holes to the merger of neutron stars, these cosmic events offer a glimpse into the hidden dynamics of celestial objects. LIGO is also capable of looking for gravitational waves from the early universe, which, if discovered, would provide insight into what happened a small fraction of a second after the Big Bang, some 13.8 billion years ago.

In a recent milestone, Dr. Bartosz Fornal, Assistant Professor of Physics, presented research plans to the LSC Council, outlining Barry University's commitment to advancing gravitational wave research. Following a favorable vote, Barry University officially became a member of LSC, opening doors to unprecedented opportunities for collaboration and discovery. 

With this affiliation, Barry University will gain access to a wealth of resources and data provided by the LSC, paving the way for groundbreaking research in astrophysics. Additionally, Barry University will be recognized as an integral part of any future discoveries made by the LIGO collaboration, solidifying its position on the forefront of scientific exploration. 

Sign in to use the pins