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The Gravitational-Wave Physics and Astronomy Center at CSUF, which opened in September 2012, has kicked off its first summer of research with a grand total of 22 students, faculty, and staff. The center brings together three gravitational-wave research groups led by Jocelyn Read, Geoffrey Lovelace, and Josh Smith, focusing on neutron-star astrophysics, numerical-relativity simulations, and LIGO detector characterization, respectively. Along with their research project work, the center members meet as a group for two hours each week. We're starting the summer with a three-week "crash course" on the fundamentals of gravitational-wave science, and will then transition to more detailed research reports from GWPAC members.

 gwpac-group-meetingJocelyn Read presents an overview of neutron star astrophysics at GWPAC group meeting June 27, 2013.

The 2013 GWPAC summer group members are:

Read group:

Jocelyn Read - CSUF Faculty

April Hankins - CSUF Master's Student

Veronica Lockett-Ruiz - CSUF Master's Student (Co-with Smith group)

Ivan Ozaeta - CSUF Master's Student

Eric Flynn - CSUF Undergraduate

Susan Vong - STEM^2 Student and Undergraduate at Citrus College

Brendan Green - Troy High School Student

Lovelace group:

Geoffrey Lovelace - CSUF Faculty

Evan Foley - CSUF Master's Student

Ivan Blanco - STEM^2 Student and Undergraduate at Santiago Canyon College

Haroon Khan - STEM^2 Student and Undergraduate at Santiago Canyon College

Nicholas Trank - Troy High School Student

Smith group: 

Josh Smith - CSUF Faculty

Joseph Areeda - CSUF Staff

Gabriel Islas - CSUF Master's Student

Fabian Magaña-Sandoval - CSUF Master's Student

Cinthia Padilla - CSUF Graduate

Gabriela Serna - CSUF Graduate

Adrian Avila-Alvarez - CSUF Undergraduate

Erik Muniz - STEM^2 Student and Undergraduate at Cypress College

Matthew Russell - STEM^2 Student and Undergraduate at Santiago Canyon College

Josh Smith

Josh Smith, director of GWPAC, has received an NSF Career award for his proposed project "Gravitational-wave Detector Characterization and Science Education in the Advanced LIGO Era." This award will provide support over a five-year period for an integrated research and education program in gravitaitonal-wave science for Josh and his students.

There will be a reception to honor Josh on Wednesday, March 27 at 3:30 PM in MH141; refreshments will be provided.

Led by new GWPAC faculty member Geoffrey Lovelace, CSUF students Evan Foley, Matt Giesler, and Iván Ozaeta have begun learning to use the Spectral Einstein Code (SpEC) to simulate colliding black holes. 

Simulating black hole mergers

Initial data for two spinning black holes that will fall together from rest and collide head-on. Each hole spins about its center on an axis parallel to the green line. The black-hole horizons are shown, colored by their shape: they are not spherical but bulge in the red regions and are squashed in the blue regions. Figure courtesy Evan Foley.



GWPAC faculty members Geoffrey Lovelace and Jocelyn Read spent the week of July 30th at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics in Santa Barbara. They were there to attend the KITP conference "Rattle and Shine: Gravitational Wave and Electromagnetic Studies of Compact Binary Mergers." The conference brought together astronomers studying gravitational-wave or electromagnetic (optical, radio, x-ray and gamma-ray) signals, to discuss the inspiral and merger physics of compact binary systems: pairs of neutron stars or black holes that radiate gravitational waves until they collide.

 Geoffrey and Jocelyn in front of the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics.