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Highlights

GWPAC welcomes visiting faculty members for short or extended visits and sabbaticals, and postdoctoral scholars such as Humboldt Fellows. 

The Cal State Fullerton Gravitational-Wave Physics and Astronomy Center (GWPAC) was established to conduct research, education, and outreach in gravitational-wave astronomy, physics, and astrophysics. The center currently has three faculty members, one computing specialist, 8 master's students, and 15 undergraduates engaged in research, education and outreach related to gravitational-wave science.

GWPAC is facilitating collaboration among students, faculty members, visitors from around the world, and large external scientific collaborations. We also have strong local connections with gravitational-wave science at Caltech and with science education research at the Fullerton Catalyst Center. 

For more information or to plan a visit, contact Joshua Smith This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Research Corporation for Science Advancement (RCSA) has awarded Jocelyn Read and Geoffrey Lovelace $75,000 for the two year project, "Developing a Numerical Injection Analysis Pipeline for Gravitational Waves from Merging Black Holes and Neutron Stars".

Lovelace and Read lead a 2014 GWPAC group meeting.Lovelace and Read leading a 2014 GWPAC group meeting.

This Multi-Investigator Cottrell College Science Award, together with a $25,000 match from CSUF, will support research by Geoffrey, Jocelyn, and their students to compute and combine analytical and numerical gravitational waveforms of merging black holes and neutron stars. This combination of theoretical astrophysics and computational relativity will help maximize the scientific output of gravitational-wave detectors such as the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (Advanced LIGO). 

Jocelyn and Geoffrey joined CSUF in 2012, and have both developed active research programs. In addition to this RCSA support, Jocelyn and Geoffrey are funded by the NSF for the projects, "RUI: Dense Matter and Gravitational Waves: The Coalescence of Neutron Star Binaries" and "RUI: Numerical Simulations of Merging Black Holes and Neutron Stars," respectively. Together, they administer Orange county Relativity Cluster for Astronomy (ORCA) - a 240 core supercomputer located on the CSU Fullerton campus and used for gravitational-wave research.

Congratulations Geoffrey and Jocelyn!

 

 

Jocelyn Josh Ghandi smallGWPAC and Department of Physics faculty members Jocelyn Read and Josh Smith attended the Gravitational Wave Physics and Astronomy Workshop (GWPAW) held December 17- 20, 2013 at the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA) in Pune, India.

Both were invited to present on aspects of gravitational-wave astronomy, Jocelyn on "Measuring the Neutron Star Equation of State," and Josh on "Detector characterization to prepare for the first gravitational-wave detections."

The workshop was a gathering of 173 gravitational-wave scientists from around the world, and was held at a particularly exciting time, as India and the United States are strengthening their collaboration in gravitational-wave astronomy. We're looking forward to future Indo-Fullerton gravitaitonal-wave research. 

Many thanks to the scientific and local organizing committees, particularly the meeting chair, Sukanta Bose (IUCAA & Washington State U.).

 

Haroon-MaSHER-3DBased on his hypothetical Mars mission proposal "The Mars Subterranean Hydrothermal Exploration Rover - MaSHER," GWPAC researcher and Santiago Canyon College undergraduate Haroon Khan has been selected to visit the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory February 26-28th as part of the National Community College Aerospace Scholars (NCAS) program.

Haroon joined GWPAC in 2013 as a STEM^2 summer undergraduate researcher, studying, with Prof Geoffrey Lovelace, the mergers of binary-black-hole systems using computer simulations on the ORCA cluster.

Haroon's proposed mission involves landing the MaSHER rover in Mars' Valles Marineris canyon with the main goal of finding underground sources of water, gas, and/or other potential life sustaining materials. Another objective of the mission is to test the effectiveness of harnessing wind on Mars as an energy source, using WindBelt technology. His proposal also included a 3-D design, launch and travel timeline, and approximate weight and cost. Haroon's mission proposal received a grade of 97/100, leading to his selection for the on-site portion of the program.  

A poster summarizing Haroon's program is available.

Please help us in congratulating Haroon for this amazing accomplishment - and wish him best of luck for the next phase!

GWPAC member and junior physics major Adrian Avila-Alvarez and GWPAC director Josh Smith attended the 2013 SACNAS National Conference in San Antonio, TX October 3-6.

Adrian presented a poster on his CSUF research entitled, "Scattered Light Measurements for Advanced LIGO's Output Mode-Cleaner Mirrors." This work, funded by Josh's NSF CAREER award, is aimed at characterizing the optics that are used to improve the shot noise limit to sensitivity of the Advanced LIGO detectors. 

adrian-sacnas2013-poster

Josh helped to staff the LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory) outreach and recruitment booth.

Among the highlights of the meeting were an incredible keynote address by biologist and nobel laureate Dr. Martin Chalfie and an inspiring welcome from San Antonio mayor Julian Castro.  

gravity-waves

While en route, Josh and Adrian also witnessed a very strong set of cloud lines caused by gravity waves (not to be confused with gravitational waves!), an atmospheric phenomenon caused by air being pressed up over mountains and then oscillating like a pendulum forming clouds at each of its crests.

Adrian and Josh are already looking forward to SACNAS 2014 in LA!