Gravitational waves from a second pair of colliding black holes has validated the landmark discovery from earlier this year that confirmed Einstein’s general theory of relativity. Rochester Institute of Technology scientists contributed to the initial breakthrough and to the second discovery announced Wednesday by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory.
The second gravitational wave was observed by the LIGO Scientific Collaboration and the Virgo Collaboration on Dec. 26, 2015, toward the end of the first science run of the Advanced LIGO detectors. The findings, which will appear in the journal Physical Review Letters, validate the new field of gravitational wave astronomy and reveal diversity of size and spin among black holes in the universe.
Alexander presented a talk at the "28th TEXAS Symposium on Relativistic Astrophysics" in Geneva, Switzerland December 13-18. Mr. Rasskazov's talk was entitled "Pulsar timing detection of gravitational waves from binary supermassive black holes".
Physics sophomore Luke Shadler accompanied Dr. Andy Robinson to spend a week visiting the Astrophysicsresearch group at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), Porto Alegre, Brazil, during April. Dr. Robinson and recent AST Ph.D. graduate Dr. Davide Lena are working with Dr. Thaisa Storchi-Bergmann and her group at UFRGS on a joint project to map gas flows around supermassive black holes in active galactic nuclei, using observations made with the Gemini North and South Telescopes on Mauna Kea Hawaii, and Cerro Pachon, Chile, respectively. Luke began been working with Dr. Robinson during his freshman year, using a sophisticated computer program to model the structure and velocity field of the gas flows for comparison with the observations. His work expertise with this program so impressed Dr. Storchi-Bergmann that he was personally invited to UFRGS, to provide hands-on training for her graduate students in the use of this software.
Scientists, including AST Faculty Donald Figer, at Rochester Institute of Technology and Raytheon Vision Systems are getting closer to developing infrared detectors grown on silicon wafers for ground-based astronomy. Other application areas—such as homeland security, remote sensing and biomedical imaging—could also benefit from the technology.
RIT's Senior Lecturer Brian Koberlein, Professor Michael Richmond, and Ph.D. student Kevin Cooke join radio host Evan Dawson's Monthly Science Roundtable for adiscussion about a possible Planet Nine beyond the orbit of Pluto. The evidence for the claim as well as possible problems with the evidence are examined as they take questions from the audience about the claim and planetary science.
Four AST program faculty and their research team contributed to LIGO’s breakthrough discovery, which detected signals emitted from a black-hole collision 1.3 billion light years away. RIT’s LIGO team is preparing for the first-ever black-hole census when LIGO begins its second operational run this summer. Full Article
From Left: Carlos Lousto, Richard O'Shaughnessy, Manuela Campanelli & John Whelan.