Media Advisory 16-003
Thursday: Scientists to provide update on the search for gravitational waves
100 years after Einstein predicted the existence of gravitational waves, the National Science Foundation gathers scientists from Caltech, MIT and the LIGO Scientific Collaboration to update scientific community on efforts to detect them
February 8, 2016
This material is available primarily for archival purposes. Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.
Journalists are invited to join the National Science Foundation as it brings together scientists from Caltech, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the LIGO Scientific Collaboration (LSC) this Thursday at 10:30 a.m. at the National Press Club for a status report on the effort to detect gravitational waves -- or ripples in the fabric of space-time -- using the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO).
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the first publication of Albert Einstein's prediction of the existence of gravitational waves. With interest in this topic piqued by the centennial, the group will discuss their ongoing efforts to observe gravitational waves.
LIGO, a system of two identical detectors carefully constructed to detect incredibly tiny vibrations from passing gravitational waves, was conceived and built by researchers at MIT and the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), funded by the National Science Foundation, with significant contributions from other U.S. and international partners. The twin detectors are located in Livingston, Louisiana, and Hanford, Washington. Research and analysis of data from the detectors is carried out by a global group of scientists, including the LSC, which includes the GEO600 Collaboration, and the VIRGO Collaboration.
For additional background about the project, you may be interested in these websites:
- LIGO Lab: https://ligo.caltech.edu/ (Observatories: Livingston | Hanford)
- Advanced LIGO: https://www.advancedligo.mit.edu/
- LIGO Scientific Collaboration: http://www.ligo.org/
- LIGO Partner Experiments and Collaborations: http://www.ligo.org/partners.php
Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016
10:30 a.m. US EST
The National Press Club, Holeman Lounge
529 14th Street NW, 13th Floor
Washington, DC 20045
Seating is extremely limited, but an overflow room will be available where reporters can still ask questions and have access to additional subject matter experts to interview after the press conference. Only the first 50 journalists to arrive will be seated in the main room. All interested journalists should RSVP to any of the media contacts listed below to ensure press credentials are prepared ahead of time. A mult box will be available for broadcast media, and the Press Club is equipped with wireless access.
For press not based in the Washington, D.C. area, this event will be simulcast live online, and we will try to answer some questions submitted remotely. For details about how to participate remotely, please contact anyone listed below.
The U.S. National Science Foundation propels the nation forward by advancing fundamental research in all fields of science and engineering. NSF supports research and people by providing facilities, instruments and funding to support their ingenuity and sustain the U.S. as a global leader in research and innovation. With a fiscal year 2020 budget of $8.3 billion, NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 40,000 competitive proposals and makes about 11,000 new awards. Those awards include support for cooperative research with industry, Arctic and Antarctic research and operations, and U.S. participation in international scientific efforts.