One year anniversary for gravitational waves discovery
Wednesday 15th February 2017
LIGO Livingston Observatory
October 2015: Observations begin
On the 5th October 2015, we posted a story on our website about the search for the elusive gravitational waves posited by Einstein but then still unobserved, despite a decades long search. We signalled the aims of the project and outlined our involvement in this exciting international research undertaking.
“Cardiff University researchers have begun looking for the first direct evidence of the existence of gravitational waves,” our story read.
“Two upgraded detectors, based at Hanford and Livingston in the US, have been brought online and are starting to search for signals with unprecedented accuracy as part of the Advanced LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory) Project.
Researchers from Cardiff University's School of Physics and Astronomy will use a powerful supercomputer to comb through the data to search for the tell-tale signals of a gravitational wave.”
February 2016: Mission accomplished!
It didn't take long! On the 11th February 2016 we posted a story on our university news pages. It began “University scientists open a new window into the Universe as gravitational waves are detected for the first time.
An international team of scientists, including a group of researchers from Cardiff University's School of Physics and Astronomy, have directly observed gravitational waves for the very first time, adding the final piece of the jigsaw to Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity that he proposed exactly 100 years ago.”
February 2017: One year on and the work continues
It is now one year since the discovery of gravitational waves for the first time and work on this area is still continuing with the School's Gravitational Waves Research Group heavily involved. Plans are already underway to design the next generation of gravitational wave detectors. The group is leading the science case in support of the Einstein Telescope - a future underground detector with ten times better amplitude sensitivity than advanced detectors. The team is also benefitting from further investment and is hoping to build on their current expertise with the recruitment of additional expert research staff. There is still much to discover in this exciting area of astrophysics and our Gravitational Waves Group is one of the international teams leading the way.