UWM Physicists Participate in First Discovery of Gravitational Waves

Thirty University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee (UWM) physicists, members of the Leonard E. Parker Center for Gravitation, Cosmology & Astrophysics, have participated in the research leading to the first detection of gravitational waves initially predicted by the theories of Albert Einstein 100 years ago. UWM professors Patrick Brady, Jolien Creighton, Xavier Siemens, and Alan Wiseman, along with 26 UWM students and scientists are part of the LIGO (Laser Interferometric Gravitational-Wave Observatory) Scientific Collaboration that analyzed massive amounts of data from the two “Advanced LIGO” located in the United States. The gravitational waves detected by the LIGO observatories on September 14 were created when two black holes slammed together approximately 1.3 billion years ago. The discovery of this event has confirmed one of Einstein’s most important predictions. Gravitational waves offer an entirely new way to investigate the universe; complementing tradition observations made with forms of radiation, such as visible light, radio waves, and X-rays. More information can be found at UWM’s big data helps find gravitational waves and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article Einstein was right – gravitational waves finally confirmed.