About the Center

The Nicholas and Lee Begovich Center for Gravitational-Wave Physics and Astronomy, which was renamed from GWPAC following a major commitment from Nicholas and Lee Begovich the CSUF in 2020, was established to conduct research, education, and outreach in gravitational-wave astronomy, physics, and astrophysics.

Gravitational waves are a phenomenon predicted by Albert Einstein's General Theory of Relativity. Observations of these effects on the Hulse-Taylor binary pulsar, a pair of orbiting neutron stars, garnered the 1993 Nobel Prize in Physics. Additionally, gravitational waves from a merging system of two black holes were directly observed by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) on September 14, 2015 and December 26, 2015.

Read more about GWPAC staff and students' role in LIGO's discovery 

Gravitational waves provide a fundamentally new way to observe the Universe. They bring us new information about nature's most violent astrophysical events, such as supernovae and collisions between black holes or neutron stars. The Gravitational-Wave Physics and Astronomy Center brings together faculty, students, and staff at CSUF with an interest in gravitational-wave science. Our scientific work involves modeling sources of gravitational waves, understanding the gravitational-wave signals they produce, measuring signals in the LIGO detectors, and improving the sensitivity of the detectors. 

GWPAC involves students and scientists from a variety of backgrounds. We help train the next generation of leaders in gravitational-wave science, a dynamic and growing field, and promote a diverse gravitational-wave community. The research of our students, faculty, and staff will expand our knowledge of the universe through gravitational-wave observations. We will work together to communicate exciting new scientific developments to the public.

Who are we?

Our faculty and staff members include Jocelyn Read, a theoretical astrophysicist with a specialty in modeling sources of gravitational waves, especially neutron star dynamics; Geoffrey Lovelace, a theoretical gravitational physicist specializing in modeling sources of gravitational waves, such as colliding black holes, using numerical relativity; Joshua Smith, a gravitational-wave physics experimenter specializing in optics and improving the astrophysical range of gravitational wave detectors; Alfonso Agnew a mathematician focused on problems motivated by General Relativity Theory and Quantum Theory; and Joseph Areeda, a computational specialist who develops software for data analysis on the LIGO data grid.

Where are we located?

The center is located in   McCarthy Hall-601, on the sixth floor of McCarthy Hall on the campus of California State University Fullerton.


Our mailing address is:

The Nicholas and Lee Begovich Center for
Gravitational-Wave Physics and Astronomy

Department of Physics, California State University Fullerton
800 N. State College Blvd
Fullerton CA, 92831