Media Advisory: Scientists to provide update on the search for gravitational waves

Update 11 February 2016: LIGO scientists announce the detection of gravitational waves.

8 February 2016 -- 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 the scientific community on efforts to detect them.

(Washington, DC) -- Journalists are invited to join the National Science Foundation as it brings together the scientists from Caltech, 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 spacetime - 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 MIT and Caltech researchers, 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.

When: Thursday, Feb 11, 2016, 10:30 AM US EST

Where: The National Press Club, Holeman Lounge, 529 14th St NW, 13th floor, Washington, DC 20045

Media RSVP: Seating is extremely limited, but an overflow room will be available where reporters can still ask questions and have access to additional subject matters 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.

Live webcast: 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.

Media contacts:
Caltech/Tom Waldman, (626) 395-5832 or (818) 274-2729 [m]; twaldman@caltech.edu
MIT/Kimberly Allen, (617) 253-2702 or (617) 852-6094 [m]; allenkc@mit.edu
NSF/Ivy Kupec, (703) 292-8796 or (703) 225-8216 [m]; ikupec@nsf.gov

Image: LIGO Hanford Observatory. Credit: Caltech/MIT/LIGO Lab.

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