2017 News

  • The AMON initiative highlighted in the American Institute of Physics Press Release Rise of Multi-Messenger Astrophysics.
    Full story…
  • An article in the Astronomy magazine on Gravitational Waves by Robert Naeye. See story
  • The 2017 Nobel Prize was awarded to Barry Barish, Kip Thorne and Rainer Weiss “for decisive contributions to the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational waves.” Discoveries made by IGC researchers over the past two decades provided substantial groundwork for these observations. More recently, research teams led by Chad Hanna and B. Sathyaprakash played a vital role in the actual detection and subsequent parameter estimation of sources for the events that have been observed over the last two years. For details, please see the following stories:
    Penn State News
    College of Science Research News
    Centre Daily Times
  • For the first time, three detectors have tracked the gravitational waves emitted by a merger of two black holes — a critical new capability that allows scientists to more closely locate a gravitational wave’s birthplace in space. Chad Hanna and B. Sathyaprakash explain why.  See Full Article
  • Philipp Eller, postdoctoral scholar in physics and member of IGC, won first prize for his poster “High-statistics and GPU-accelerated Data Analysis” at the 18th International Workshop on Advanced Computing and Analysis Techniques in Physics Research (ACAT 2017) in Seattle. Read full story.
  • Kohta Murase, assistant professor of physics and of astronomy and astrophysics, has been selected as a Sloan Fellow. The Sloan fellowships are awarded to “honor early-career scientists and scholars whose achievements and potential identify them as rising stars, the next generation of scientific leaders.” Dr. Murase’s research is on theoretical astroparticle physics and interdisciplinary areas among astrophysics, particle physics, and nuclear physics. His particular interest lies in the physics and astrophysics related to cosmic rays, the subatomic particles known as neutrinos, and the properties of dark matter.
  • Miguel Mostafa, Stephane Coutu and the Auger Collaboration have published a paper in Science on their discovery of a large-scale anisotropy in the arrival direction of cosmic rays. Please see the Penn State press release for more information. Article in Science
  • The SpaceX 12 resupply mission to the International Space Center due to launch on Monday, August 14 will carry an ISS-CREAM instrument. This instrument will detect nuclei and electrons in cosmic rays from hundreds of GeV to hundreds of TeV, and mapping out the nuclear elemental energy spectra in unprecedented detail to determine the origins of cosmic rays in the Galaxy, a 100-year old puzzle. Stephane Coutu, professor of physics and member of IGC, and his group built one of the detector elements for the payload, a boronated scintillator detector (adding sensitivity to electrons to the mission). Up-to-date news and a link to live streaming of the launch are available at https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/structure/launch/spacex.html.
  • Gravitational waves produced by the birth of a massive black hole, a record-breaking billions of light-years from Earth, have been detected by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO). IGC researchers provided leadership in this discovery.  See Full Article
  • Press releases over the internet with quotes from Professor Sathyaprakash of the Institute for Gravitation and the Cosmos about the third GWave event.
  • Congratulations to the PSU LIGO team led by Bangalore Sathyaprakash and Chad Hanna on detection of the third gravitational wave event. The team includes postdocs Sydney Chamberlin, Anuradha Gupta, Alex Pace, Duncan Meacher and Cody Messick. Full article…
  • A monograph entitled Loop Quantum Gravity: The First 30 Years was published in April 2017 in the series “100 Years of General Relativity.” It presents a snapshot of the state of the art of Loop Quantum Gravity from the perspective of younger leading researchers, taking the reader from basics to recent advances, thereby bridging an important gap. It was edited by Abhay Ashtekar and Jorge Pullin.For further information, including placing an order, discount, etc., see PDF file.
  • Beatrice Bonga won a Department of Physics award for outstanding teaching. The award ceremony highlighted her numerous contributions to the department and university, including outreach and leadership.
  • Andrea Sylvia Biscoveanu has been awarded the Astronaut Scholarship for the 2016-17 academic year. The Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (ASF) recognizes undergraduate students who excel in STEM disciplines. “Biscoveanu began immersing herself in research as a first-year student, working alongside Miguel Mostafa, associate professor of physics and astronomy and astrophysics, to study ultra-high-energy cosmic waves through the Pierre
    Auger Collaboration.” In summer 2016, Andrea was part of a research team led by Chad Hanna, assistant professor of physics, working with the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO). Read more…
  • Kohta Murase has been selected as a Sloan Fellow. The Sloan Fellowship “seeks to stimulate fundamental research by early-career scientists and scholars of outstanding promise. These two-year fellowships are awarded to researchers in recognition of distinguished performance and a unique potential to make substantial contributions to their field.”
  • NSF funds hybrid supercomputer cluster at Penn State. In addition to Doug Cowen, associate director of IGC, Yuexing Li (PI) is also a member of IGC. For more information on this project, please see http://tinyurl.com/hrb8xxo

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