I will be giving a PUG seminar on April 11, 2016 in the Institute for Gravitation and the Cosmos.
LIGO has been in the news a lot this past Fall. Unfortunately, a lot of the press has been rumor. Despite the rumors, many very good articles have been written that describe what LIGO is and what gravitational waves are to a general audience.
Advanced LIGO’s first science run officially ended on January 12, 2016 at 08:00 PST.
The end of O1, as we call it, was bittersweet. On the sweet side, O1 was the single most sensitive gravitational wave data set ever obtained. We were able to “listen” to gravitational waves farther out into the local Universe than ever before. We are all very happy and proud with how things went! The bitter side is that it is a bit sad to not have fresh data coming in any more. However, there is a tremendous silver lining: ending O1 now means that scientists at LIGO can work for the next several months to make LIGO even better. We hope to start new observations this summer (called O2) with improved sensitivity!