RIT scientists from LIGO group attend general relativity conference

Campanelli and Lousto attend Gruber Foundation Cosmology Prize ceremony

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Manuela Campanelli and Carlos Lousto

Papers related to the first detection of gravitational waves announced earlier this year were presented by a team of RIT scientists at the International Conference on General Relativity and Gravitation.

Researchers from RIT’s Center for Computational Relativity and Gravitation who attended the meeting at Columbia University from July 10-15 included Carlos Lousto and Yosef Zlochower, professor and associate professor, respectively, in RIT’s School of Mathematical Sciences, and Brennan Ireland and Jam Sadiq, Ph.D. students in the astrophysical sciences and technology program. Ten RIT researchers and students are members of the LIGO collaboration.

“This is the most important meeting of the year for our field and will establish the key areas for the next generation of researchers,” Lousto said.

Lousto and Manuela Campanelli, director of RIT’s center, attended the Gruber Foundation Cosmology Prize lecture and dinner on July 12, held in conjunction with the conference. The prize recognizes Ronald Drever, Kip Thorne, Rainer Weiss and the entire discovery team of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory collaboration for the first observation of gravitational waves, ripples in space-time predicted by Einstein a century ago. The Gruber International Prize Program honors researchers in cosmology, genetics and neuroscience, whose groundbreaking work inspire fundamental shifts in knowledge and culture.

Gravitational wave research at the Center for Computational Relativity and Gravitation is one of RIT’s five signature research areas designated to receive $1 million over five years. The university’s strategic investment will position Campanelli’s team to compete for external funding and increase its world-class research in gravitational wave astronomy.