Media Advisory: LIGO, Virgo scientists discuss continued search for gravitational waves at AAS meeting

The international collaborators will comment on their ongoing research at their first press conference since the historic observation of gravitational waves.

June 14, 2016

The international collaborators will comment on their ongoing research at their first press conference since the historic observation of gravitational waves.

 

WHAT:
Scientists from the LIGO Scientific Collaboration (LSC) and the Virgo Collaboration will discuss their latest research in the effort to detect gravitational waves, at the 228th meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) in San Diego, California. The briefing is scheduled to begin at 10:15 AM Pacific Daylight Time on Wednesday, June 15th.

The U.S.-based LSC and the European collaboration Virgo have long been close partners in the search for gravitational waves. The first detection of gravitational waves, announced on February 11, 2016, was a milestone in physics and astronomy; it confirmed a major prediction of Albert Einstein’s 1915 general theory of relativity, and marked the beginning of the new field of gravitational-wave astronomy.

LIGO, a system of two identical detectors carefully constructed to detect incredibly tiny vibrations from passing gravitational waves, was conceived of and built by MIT and Caltech researchers, and is 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.

Virgo, which was designed and built by a collaboration between the French Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and the Italian Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (INFN), is a giant laser interferometer designed to detect gravitational waves. It is now operated in Cascina, Italy by an international collaboration of scientists from France, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, and Hungary.

 

WHEN:
Wednesday, June 15, 2016
10:15 AM US PDT/1:15 PM US EDT

 

WHERE:
Hilton San Diego Bayfront
1 Park Boulevard
San Diego, CA 92101

 

WHO:

  • Gabriela González, LIGO Scientific Collaboration spokesperson, Louisiana State University
  • Fulvio Ricci, Virgo spokesperson, INFN & Sapienza University of Rome
  • David Reitze, Executive Director of LIGO, Caltech

 

MEDIA RSVP & INQUIRIES
Journalists interested in attending the AAS briefing should contact Rick Fienberg for details (rick.fienberg@aas.org). For all other press inquiries related to the research being presented, please contact the media officers listed below.

 

LIVE WEBCAST:
Interested individuals can watch the press briefing live at: https://aas.org/aas-briefing-webcast

Journalists unable to attend the briefing in person can participate remotely at https://aas.org/media-press/aas-press-conference-webcasts. Reporters should contact AAS Press Officer Rick Fienberg (rick.fienberg@aas.org) for the password.

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LIGO/VIRGO MEDIA CONTACTS:

Kimberly Allen, LIGO (MIT)
(617) 253-2702; allenkc@mit.edu

Whitney Clavin, LIGO (Caltech)
(626) 395-1856; wclavin@caltech.edu

Mimi LaValle, LSC (LSU)
(225) 578-1194; mlavall@lsu.edu

Séverine Perus, EGO-Virgo
+39 050752325; severine.perus@ego-gw.it

Image: An aerial photo of LIGO Livingston Observatory. Image credit: Caltech/MIT/LIGO Lab

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