Built to look for gravitational waves, the ripples in the fabric of space itself that were predicted by Einstein in 1916, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) is the most ambitious project ever funded by the National Science Foundation. We talk to two Caltech researchers to learn about how LIGO came to be.
Associate Professor of Astronomy Dimitri Mawet, who recently joined Caltech from the Paranal Observatory in Chile, searches for solar systems around other stars, and hopes to one day discover a planet much like our own.
The lectureship, awarded from the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) and the Associated Universities, Inc, is named for Karl Jansky, a pioneer in the field of radio astronomy and the first to detect radio waves from a cosmic source.
For a brief instant after the Big Bang, the universe flew apart at speeds faster than light; the gravitational waves from this expansion sowed the seeds of galaxies. Caltech professor Jamie Bock is hunting for an echo of these waves in the cosmic microwave background.
Caltech seniors Adam Jermyn and Charles Tschirhart have been named 2015 Hertz Fellowship winners. Selected from a pool of approximately 800 applicants, the awardees will receive up to five years of support for their graduate studies.