Read, Lovelace, Smith and students coauthor PRL announcing gravitational wave detection.

The rumors were true: one of the most dramatic predictions of Einstein’s century-old theory of general relativity has been substantiated—there are observable ripples in the fabric of spacetime.
 
The Physical Review Letter (PRL) published today 2/11/2016 presents strong evidence that the source of the detected gravitational waves was a distant, violent merging of two black holes into one generating the energy equivalent of twice our Sun in under a second. The fact that such a strong signal was observed in the very early days of Advanced LIGO going live suggests that the heavens may be brighter with gravitational waves and black hole collisions than previously expected.
 
The very long list of coauthors includes former GWPAC students Josh Hacker, Gabe Islas, Daniel Vander-Hyde, Gaby Serna, Thomas Abbott, and Fabian Magana-Sandoval. Daniel, Gabi, Fabian, and Thomas are currently in PhD programs; Daniel and Fabian in physics at Syracuse; Gabi in astronomy education at Syracuse; and Thomas in physics at LSU. Josh’s postdoc Joe Areeda was also a coauthor.
 
Local CSUF news coverage today has been exhilarating.
 

Geoffrey, Josh, Jocelyn, and AlGeoffrey, Josh, Jocelyn, and AlAdvanced LIGO went live last September 2015, and the PRL data was taken shortly thereafter. It’s been a long wait for the  founding members of GWPAC, which includes Josh, Geoffrey, and Jocelyn.  Their students and colleagues at large including CSUF math professor Al Agnew have worked closely together for the past three years on many aspects of gravitational wave research including LIGO detector characterization (Josh), blackhole simulation (Geoffrey), neutron-star dynamics (Read), and general relativity and quantum field theory (Agnew). 

Josh served as one of six coeditors of the PRL who coordinated for the better part of the past five months hundreds of draft contributions from the coauthors. Geoffrey performed and coordinated numerical simulations of the detection and served as part of a small tiger team that has been refining the key figure 1 in the detection paper. 
Jocelyn and Geoffrey and the GWPAC team at the campus press conferenceJocelyn and Geoffrey and the GWPAC team at the campus press conference