LIGO at Minnesota
Welcome to the University of Minnesota gravitational-wave research group!
Our research activities include data analysis for the LIGO project, astrophysical and cosmological models of gravitational-wave production and the development of technology for third-generation gravitational-wave detectors.
- February 11, 2016: the LIGO Scientific Collaboration announces the first direct detection of gravitational waves! Paper in Physical Review Letters and on the arXiv.
- February 2016: "All-sky search for long-duration gravitational wave transients with LIGO" published in Phys. Rev. D (arXiv link).
- January 2016: Advanced LIGO concludes its first observing run (Sept. 12, 2015 - Jan. 12, 2016) with improved sensitivity compared to initial LIGO.
- "Gravitational waves from Scorpius X-1: a comparison of search methods and prospects for detection with advanced detectors" published in Phys. Rev. D (arXiv link).
- May 2015: final seismic stations installed at Homestake, bringing the total to 24!
- November 2014: first seismic stations installed at the Homestake Mine.
- Summer 2014: Tanner Prestegard wins UMN Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship for the 2014 - 2015 academic year.
- "Observation of gravitational waves from a binary black hole merger," LIGO Scientific Collaboration and Virgo Collaboration, Phys. Rev. Lett. 116, 061102 (2016), arXiv: 1602.03837 .
- "All-sky search for long-duration gravitational wave transients with LIGO," LIGO Scientific Collaboration and Virgo Collaboration, Phys. Rev. D 93, 042005 (2016), arXiv: 1511.04398.
- "New technologies in gravitational-wave detection," S. Ballmer and V. Mandic, Ann. Rev. Nucl. Part. Sci. 65, 555 (2015).
- "Gravitational waves from Scorpius X-1: a comparison of search methods and prospects for detection with advanced detectors," C. Messenger, H. J. Bulten, S. G. Crowder, et al., Phys. Rev. D 92, 023006 (2015), arXiv: 1504.05889.
- "A model of the stochastic gravitational-wave background due to core collapse to black holes," K. Crocker et al., Phys. Rev. D 92, 063005 (2015), arXiv: 1506.02631.
- "The impact of star formation and gamma-ray burst rates at high redshift on cosmic chemical evolution and reionization," E. Vangioni, K. A. Olive, T. Prestegard, et al., Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc. 447, 2575 (2015), arXiv: 1409.2462.
- "Searching for stochastic gravitational waves using data from the two co-located LIGO Hanford detectors," LIGO Scientific Collaboration and Virgo Collaboration, Phys. Rev. D 92, 022003 (2015), arXiv: 1410.6211.
- All publications...
Recent/upcoming GW conferences
- APS April meeting in Salt Lake City, UT (Apr. 16 - Apr. 19, 2016)
- LSC-Virgo meeting in Pasadena, CA (Mar. 14 - Mar. 18, 2016)
- LSC-Virgo meeting in Budapest, HU (Aug. 31 - Sept. 3, 2015)
One of the consequences of Einstein's theory of general relativity is the existence of gravitational waves—ripples in the fabric of spacetime, which manifest themselves as minuscule strains, alternately stretching and squeezing the spacetime through which they pass.
Gravitational waves are thought to be copiously created in violent cosmic events such as the coalescence of two neutron stars, supernovae and the birth of the universe itself.
While gravitational waves pass through us all the time, the strain is so small (less than one part in 1023) that sophisticated detectors are required to detect them.
While there is strong indirect evidence for the existence of gravitational waves (from the orbital decay of Hulse-Taylor binary pulsar), they have yet to be detected directly.
A worldwide effort is underway to directly detect gravitational waves.
Physicists are hopeful that as gravitational-wave detectors improve, gravitational-wave detection will eventually become routine, opening a totally new view of the universe!