UWM physicists are part of the team that uncovered the “background hum” of the universe

The full article may be found in the July 2023 issue of In Focus, located here

It was a celebration more than 15 years in the making – and the second time UWM has had a role in the breakthrough science of gravitational waves. UWM physics students and faculty gathered to watch a livestream on June 29 announcing the discovery that could tell us more than ever before about how the very early universe formed.

A collaboration of scientists in the U.S. and Canada, called the North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves, or NANOGrav, has compiled compelling evidence that a signal has been found for low-frequency gravitational waves that collectively generate a “background hum” across the universe. UWM has been a member of NANOGrav since its inception in 2007.

More than 190 scientists comprise NANOGrav, a Physics Frontiers Center funded by the National Science Foundation. Vigeland and David Kaplan, UWM professor of physics, lead the current UWM group: postdoctoral researchers Joe Swiggum, Abhimanyu Susobhanan and Megan Jones; doctoral students Alex McEwen, Gabriel Freedman, Shashwat Sardesai and Gabriella Agazie; and Administrative Specialist Tonia Klein.