the Science

~ four main areas we study ~

GW1509014: LIGO Detects Gravitational Waves

On 14 September 2015 at 4:50:45 AM Eastern standard time, LIGO detected its first gravitational waves.  The waves descended on Earth from the southern hemisphere, passed through the Earth, and emerged at the Earth's surface first at the LIGO interferometer in Livingston, Louisiana, and then, 7 milliseconds later, at the LIGO interferometer in Hanford, Washington (shown below).


Survey of aligned-spin binary black holes

The SXS collaboration has produced a catalog of about 90 simulations of binary black holes with spins aligned with the orbital angular momentum.  We sample systems with both spins co-rotating, one co-rotating and one counter-rotating, or both counter-rotating.  We compare these simulations with several waveform models in use by LIGO, and find generally excellent agreement.  The papers can be accessed arXiv:1512.06800  and arXiv:1601.05396.

Explore the Science of SXS


Come, you lost Atoms, to your Centre draw,
And be the Eternal Mirror that you saw:
Rays that have wander'd into Darkness wide,
Return and back into your Sun subside.

From Farid al-Din Attar's twelfth-century masterpiece
The Conference of the Birds

About SXS

The SXS project is a collaborative research effort involving multiple institutions. Our goal is the simulation of black holes and other extreme spacetimes to gain a better understanding of Relativity, and the physics of exotic objects in the distant cosmos.

The SXS project is supported by Canada Research Chairs, CFI, CIfAR, Compute Canada, Max Planck Society, NASA, NSERC, the NSF, Ontario MEDI, the Sherman Fairchild Foundation, and XSEDE.