CSUF News Service
Gravitational Wave Researchers Awarded Funding
Aug. 6, 2014
The National Science Foundation has awarded Cal State Fullerton a $119,791 grant that will go toward doubling the size of a supercomputer used by faculty and student researchers in the Gravitational-Wave Physics and Astronomy Center.
"MRI: Acquisition of a High-Performance Computer Cluster for Gravitational-Wave Astronomy With Advanced LIGO" will be directed by physics faculty members Geoffrey Lovelace, Jocelyn Read and Joshua Smith.
Gravitational waves are ripples of warped space and time, and experiments such as those conducted at the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) will soon have the astrophysical reach to observe gravitational waves from colliding black holes and neutron stars, explained Smith.
"Observing as many of these waves as possible and learning as much as possible about their sources require a generation of students with extensive knowledge of the high-performance computing hardware and software used to model and detect gravitational waves," said Smith, associate professor of physics and center director.
Lovelace and Read, both assistant professors of physics, also have received a $75,000 Cottrell College Science Award from the Research Corporation for Science Advancement. The award funds their study of merging black holes and neutron stars — among the most promising sources of gravitational waves and a possible engine for short gamma-ray bursts.