Symmetry Magazine

Humans of Physics Features CSUF Physics Major

Black hole student researcher interviewed for U.S. Department of Energy magazine


Denyz Melchor, an undergraduate studying physics at California State University, Fullerton, traveled to Lake Geneva in Wisconsin last spring to present her research on primordial black holes. It was her first collaboration meeting as a member of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, or LIGO.

At the meeting, she was surprised to find herself also talking about her two-year stint playing Ultimate Frisbee and the inspiration she finds in her family.

That’s because, at a session organized by the LIGO Education and Public Outreach group, Melchor met Zoheyr Doctor. Since August 2018, Doctor and his colleagues have published more than 30 brief profiles of LIGO researchers like Melchor as part of a blog called Humans of LIGO. 

“We just sat down and started talking,” Melchor says. “It was really a different kind of experience for me, and it was fun to answer some questions about things I hadn’t thought about.”

Since August 2018, the Humans of LIGO project has highlighted the pursuits of individuals involved with LIGO—an observatory with detectors in both Hanford, Washington and Livingston, Louisiana—and Virgo, its partner observatory near Pisa in Italy. There’s a lot of material to cover: the LIGO collaboration alone consists of about 1300 individuals from around 100 institutions in 18 countries. Continue reading on

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