November 2017
  • Eve Chase was preparing for a final exam when she received an email that LIGO, the tandem observatories set to listen for gravitational waves emitted by cosmic events, had detected yet another binary black hole merger. Since that moment, Eve, a second-year doctoral student at Northwestern, devoted her efforts to studying the event, becoming the youngest person in the over 1,000 world-wide LIGO-Virgo collaboration of scientists to lead the analysis (called “parameter estimation”) of one of LIGO’s chirps.
    Read the full article.


October 2017
  • On October 16, 2017, scientists announced the first-ever observation of a binary neutron star inspiral and merger—this astronomical event will provide a powerful new way to understand the lives of stars and how they die and join the galactic graveyard. Vicky Kalogera, CIERA Director and Daniel I. Linzer Distinguished University Professor in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, served as lead astrophysicist on the panel at the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) press conference announcing the discovery.
    Read the full article.

  • Barry Barish, Kip Thorne and Rai Weiss received the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics for decisive contributions to the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational waves. “I was so much hoping for this wonderful news,” said Vicky Kalogera, astrophysicist and Director of CIERA, who contributed to the historic detections as well. “My Northwestern colleagues and I warmly congratulate Rai, Kip and Barry on this recognition. The discovery of black-hole mergers and the detection of gravitational waves never would have happened without these creative scientists.”
    Read the full article.


September 2017
  • The LIGO Scientific Collaboration (LSC) and the Virgo collaboration announced today (Sept. 27) the first joint detection, made on August 14, of gravitational waves with both LIGO and Virgo detectors. It is the fourth announced detection of a binary black hole system and the first significant gravitational-wave signal recorded by the Virgo detector, located near Pisa, Italy.
    Read the full article.

    At the LSC-Virgo September Meeting near Geneva, Switzerland, graduate student Eve Chase won the best poster award in the Data Analysis/Theory category. Eve is a second-year physics graduate student who is part of Vicky Kalogera’s group. Eve studies computational and data analysis techniques related to gravitational wave astronomy. Her poster, titled "Gravitational-Wave Localization in the LSST Era,” focused on using the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope to search for electromagnetic counterparts to gravitational waves.
    Read the full article.

    The September 2017 issue of Sky & Telescope magazine features an article by Vicky Kalogera which gives her personal and professional account of the first gravitational wave events detected by LIGO. In the article, Prof.Kalogera describes the science behind the detections, their significance and promise, as well as the excitement in the astronomy community as these phenomenal occurrences unfolded.
    Access the September 2017 issue.


August 2017

June 2017
  • The Graduate School of Northwestern University has selected Fani Dosopoulou to receive the Holt Award. Named in honor of Helen Froelich Holt ’34, ‘38MS, it is a one-time award to help facilitate completion of the dissertation leading to a PhD. The prize is intended to provide monetary support in the student’s final year of writing and defense of the dissertation.
    Read the full article.

    Northwestern Now reported on June 1, 2017 that “One, two and now three historic waves have come from deep space.” The press release continues: “The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) made the detection Jan. 4, 2017, demonstrating that a new window in astronomy has been firmly opened. Gravitational waves pass through Earth and can be “heard” by the extremely sensitive LIGO detectors. As was the case with the first two detections, the waves were generated when two black holes merged to form a larger black hole. The long-awaited triumph in September 2015 of the first-ever direct observation of gravitational waves completed Einstein’s vision of a universe in which space and time are interwoven and dynamic.”
    Read the full Northwestern Now article.
    Read more on the CIERA Website.


May 2017
  • Congratulations to undergraduates Rebecca Diesing and Charles “Chase” Kimball, who jointly won the Department of Physics & Astronomy prize for best senior thesis, 2017. This award is given on behalf of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee. Rebecca and Chase are both astronomy students; Rebecca works with Professor Farhad Yusef-Zadeh and Chase works with Professor Vicky Kalogera.
    Read the full article.

    On May 5, 2017, CIERA Director, Vicky Kalogera was featured in Chicago Woman magazine’s “Women in STEM” column. Kalogera’s interview discussed her involvement with the LIGO team, and their discovery of gravitational waves. The interview also explored Kalogera’s upbringing and long-term interests in science, and what it is like to be a female researcher in a historically male-dominated field.
    Read the full Chicago Woman interview.

    Vicky Kalogera has been honored as the winner of the 2017 Martin E. and Gertrude G. Walder Award for Research Excellence. This award is given to one faculty member annually by the Northwestern University Provost. Provost Linzer states, “Vicky is a highly prolific and influential scholar in the fields of physics and astronomy. She is a senior member of the international team that detected the first direct evidence of gravitational waves. With these data, her team also made the first direct observation of two black holes colliding.” Continue to the Northwestern News announcement or the Office of the Provost announcement.
    Read the Northwestern News announcement .
    Read the Office of the Provost announcement.


March 2017
  • The tenth issue of LIGO Magazine is now available for download. This issue focuses on LIGO’s second observation run, “O2”. In “Getting ready for O2: A data analysis perspective”, gravitational-wave astronomers Sarah Caudill and Vivien Raymond discuss preparing to analyze the new data. Vivien is a Northwestern PhD from CIERA Director Vicky Kalogera’s research group. Mike Zevin, a 3rd year doctoral student at Northwestern, penned a feature article, “The Gravity Spy Project: Machine learning and citizen science” highlighting the relationship between professional astronomers and citizen scientists which is making analyzing LIGO data more effective.
    Read the full story.

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