This CAREER award supports the work of the PI and his students within the Syracuse University Gravitational Wave Group to detect gravitational waves with the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO). The research will target gravitational waves emitted by colliding black holes and neutron stars in the Enhanced LIGO detectors. This project will also use information from computer modeling of sources of gravitational waves to improve searches and maximize the astrophysical information that can be extracted from detections. The outreach component of this award will bring the excitement of the NSF’s cutting edge research to the middle-school classroom.

Gravitational waves and black holes are among the most dramatic predictions of Einstein’s theory of general relativity. LIGO is an ambitious NSF-funded project to detect these waves and use them to explore the Universe. Detecting these waves will open a new window on the Universe and will allow us to study one of the fundamental forces of nature. This award supports effort to build bridges between gravitational-wave astronomers, source modelers, and optical astronomers. These synergies will be essential to the success of LIGO and the field of gravitational-wave astronomy. The projects will also provide training for graduate and undergraduate student and drive development of the national cyberinfrastructure.

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