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AP story on LIGO's recent detection from neutron stars features interview with Duncan Brown

Neutron star collision

Neutron star collision

October 16, 2017

Professor Duncan Brown was interviewed by the Associated Press for a story on LIGO's historic discovery of gravitational waves from the collision of binary neutron stars. Measurements of the light and other energy emanating from the event have helped scientists explain how planet-killing gamma ray bursts are born, how fast the universe is expanding, and where heavy elements like platinum and gold come from. “This is getting everything you wish for,” said Brown. “This is our fantasy observation.” Read the full article at apnews.com.

This story also appeared in: Washington PostChicago TribuneSan Francisco ChronicleTimeABC NewsDaily MailNewsdaySeattle TimesLA TimesHouston ChronicleMinneapolis Star TribuneCTV NewsAT&T NewsXfinity NewsGainesville SunBoston HeraldSan Antonio Express NewsDetroit NewsDaily JournalAugusta ChronicleNewserWashington TimesSTL NewsNBC Local Websites (Chicago, NY, DC, San Diego, Miami), Florida Times-UnionTampa Bay TimesPublisher’s Clearing HouseCentury LinkToronto Metro News, Chicago Daily Herald

Peter Saulson, Duncan Brown quoted in Vox article on newest LIGO discovery

Artist's illustration of merging neutron stars

Artist's illustration of merging neutron stars

October 16, 2017

Duncan Brown and Peter Saulson, who co-lead the Syracuse University Gravitational Wave Group with Stefan Ballmer, were interviewed by Vox. The two discussed LIGO's recent detection of gravitational waves from colliding neutron stars, and the wave of discovery that followed. “It’s one of the most complete stories of an astrophysical event that you could possibly imagine,” says Saulson. “I think the scientific impact of this discovery is actually going to be bigger than the first detection of black holes from gravitational waves; there is so much more physics and astronomy involved,” says Brown. Read more at vox.com.

Duncan Brown quoted in Business Insider article on the cosmic origin of gold and platinum

Duncan Brown

Duncan Brown

October 16, 2017

Professor Duncan Brown was interviewed by Business Insider for an article on the recent discovery that gold, platinum, and other heavy elements are formed in collisions of neutron stars. While long theorized by scientists, this was recently proven when LIGO, Virgo, and a network of telescopes witnessed such a collision for the first time. "This is going to have a bigger impact on science and human understanding, in many ways, than the first discovery of gravitational waves," Brown said. "We're going to be puzzling over the observations we've made with gravitational waves and with light for years to come." Read more at businessinsider.com.

Peter Saulson interviewed by Newsweek

Peter Saulson

Peter Saulson

October 16, 2017

Professor Peter Saulson was interviewed by Newsweek regarding LIGO's detection of gravitational waves from colliding neutron stars. "The signals that were picked up were of a kind that we'd been hoping to find since the very early days of the project," says Saulson, who co-leads the Syracuse University Gravitational Waves group and has been involved in LIGO research since 1981. He adds that the signal produced by a neutron star merger is both strong and distinctive. "When we see it, we will know that we've seen it." And now it's confirmed--LIGO has seen it. Read more at www.newsweek.com.

Duncan Brown featured in story for PBS Newshour

Duncan Brown

Duncan Brown

October 16, 2017

Duncan Brown, Charles Brightman Endowed Professor of Physics, was featured in an article for PBS Newshour on the detection of gravitational waves and other energy emissions from a pair of colliding neutron stars. Brown spoke about the scientific importance of the discovery, and the surprising quickness with which it was confirmed. “Even when I say it now, I find it kind of astounding,” said Brown. “I thought it would take us days of painstaking, hard work to go through the data. Instead, we did it in about 45 minutes from getting the observations from the telescope.” Read more at www.mobprod.com.

Professor Stefan Ballmer, Duncan Brown quoted by Forbes

Duncan Brown and Stefan Ballmer

Duncan Brown and Stefan Ballmer

October 16, 2017

Professors Stefan Ballmer and Duncan Brown, who co-lead the Syracuse University Gravitational Wave Group along with Peter Saulson, were quoted in a Forbes article highlighting the recent discovery of neutron star collisions as the source for gold, platinum, and other heavy metals in the universe. While theorized by scientists for decades, this was recently proven when LIGO, Virgo, and a network of more traditional telescopes witnessed the inspiral and crash of a binary neutron star system, and the resulting expulsion and decay of neutron-rich material.

"When you watch that radioactive decay, what you’re basically watching is space alchemy. It’s the universe creating gold and platinum," said Brown.

"If you’re wondering how much the gold we saw being made is worth? About $10 octillion— $10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000—at today’s prices," said Ballmer.

Read more at forbes.com.

Professor Peter Saulson quoted by NPR

Peter Saulson

Peter Saulson

October 16, 2017

Peter Saulson, Martin A. Pomerantz '37 Professor of Physics, was quoted in an NPR feature on the detection of gravitational waves from binary neutron stars for the network's "All Things Considered" program, and for web publication. "It's so beautiful. It's so beautiful it makes me want to cry. It's the fulfillment of dozens, hundreds, thousands of people's efforts, but it's also the fulfillment of an idea suddenly becoming real," says Saulson. Read more at NPR.org.

This story was picked up nationally on NPR affiliates in New York City, Minnesota, Florida, California, New Hampshire, Boston, and Austin.

SU Professor Duncan Brown quoted in LA Times

Duncan Brown

Duncan Brown

October 16, 2017

In an article in the LA Times, Professor Duncan Brown discussed the future of multi-messenger astronomy following the recent announcement of the confirmed observation of a neutron star collision by the LIGO-Virgo network and more traditional telescopes. “This is the beginning,” said Brown. “This is the beginning of bringing the entire human toolkit of observations, of gravitational waves and electromagnetic waves, to bear on understanding our universe and where we live.” Read more at LATimes.com.

A Clash of Neutron Stars Forges Gold - Wall Street Journal

Neutron star collision

Neutron star collision

October 16, 2017
LIGO's recent detection of gravitational waves from the collision of two neutron stars--the first time a cosmic event has been seen with both gravitational waves and with the full electromagnetic spectrum--was featured in an article in the Wall Street Journal. Professor Duncan Brown was quoted. Read more at wsj.com.

Q&A with Stefan Ballmer on neutron star collisions, future of astrophysics - SUNews

Stefan Balllmer

Stefan Balllmer

October 16, 2017
Stefan Ballmer, associate professor of physics in the College of Arts and Sciences, gave an interview with SUNews. Stefan discussed his work, LIGO's groundbreaking discovery of gravitational waves from colliding neutron stars, and what it means for the future study of the universe. Read more at news.syr.edu.

Duncan Brown explains LIGO's latest breakthrough discovery - SUNews

Duncan Brown

Duncan Brown

October 16, 2017
In a video for SUNews, Duncan Brown, Charles Brightman Endowed Professor of Physics, explains the discovery of gravitational waves from a neutron star merger. LIGO researchers and their collaborators have confirmed that neutron star collisions are a source of gold, platinum, and r-process elements. "This is science in action," says Brown. "The astronomy textbooks of tomorrow, both at the high school evel, the middle school level, and at the college level, are going to be different than they were last year." View the video at news.syr.edu.

Peter Saulson reflects on the discovery of gravitational waves from binary neutron stars - SUNews

Peter Saulson

Peter Saulson

October 16, 2017
In a recent feature for SUNews, Peter Saulson, Martin A. Pomerantz ’37 Professor of Physics, discussed the importance of GW170817 in cementing gravitational waves as a new tool for exploring the universe. "Whether we’re contributing observations of something that only gravitational wave detectors can see, or offering new understandings of phenomena that have puzzled astronomers for decades, the game of astronomy will never be the same without us," said Saulson. Read more at news.syr.edu.

Syracuse University professors contributed to Nobel Prize-winning work (Daily Orange feature)

An artist's rendition of inspiraling black holes

An artist's rendition of inspiraling black holes

October 9, 2017
The Daily Orange, Syracuse University's student newspaper, has published an article about the Gravitational Wave Group as a follow-up to the recent award of the Nobel Prize to key LIGO scientists. Peter Saulson and Stefan Ballmer were interviewed for this piece. Read the article at dailyorange.com.

USC story on Pegasus, LIGO, features SU collaborator Ewa Deelman

October 6, 2017
USCNews has published a story on Pegasus, a specialized computer program that helps LIGO deliver data securely and efficiently, featuring Ewa Deelman of the USC Information Sciences Intitute (ISI). Ewa and ISI are currently collaborating with the SU gravitational wave group on an NSF DIBBs grant. Read more at news.usc.edu.

SU professors discuss recent Nobel Prize, future of LIGO on LocalSYR

Peter Saulson, Duncan Brown, and Stefan Ballmer

Peter Saulson, Duncan Brown, and Stefan Ballmer

October 3, 2017
Peter Saulson, Duncan Brown, and Stefan Ballmer were interviewed by LocalSYR for the network's news broadcast and web publication. The trio, who lead the Syracuse University Gravitational Wave Group, gave their perspective on SU's role in the recently awarded Nobel Prize in Physics, and the future of LIGO research. "One thing that people don't realize is that SU was the first university aside from MIT and Caltech to invest in this field, and they've ssupported it steadily all along," said Saulson. Read more and see the video clip at localsyr.com.

Two SU professors interviewed by NPR after Nobel win

Duncan Brown and Stefan Ballmer

Duncan Brown and Stefan Ballmer

October 3, 2017

Duncan Brown and Stefan Ballmer were interviewed by local NPR affiliate WRVO regarding the LIGO project's recently awarded Nobel Prize in Physics. "We all invested our careers in this," Ballmer said. "We know that it's a new frontier in physics, peeling back the curtain of the unknown a little more for all of humanity." Said Brown, "The information encoded in those gravitational waves tells us about the universe, how stars evolve, how they live, how they die. It's not everyday that you get to be part of a whole new field of astronomy." Read more at wrvo.org.

Syracuse Savors Role in 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics

An artist's rendition of a gravitational wave

An artist's rendition of a gravitational wave

October 3, 2017
Members of the Syracuse University LIGO group—co-led Peter Saulson, Duncan Brown, and Stefan Ballmer—are celebrating their role in the Nobel Prize-winning discovery of gravitational waves. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics to key LIGO leaders Rainer Weiss, Kip Thorne, and Barry C. Barish on October 3rd. Read more at news.syr.edu.

Stefan Ballmer quoted in Guardian article on 4th LIGO detection

September 27, 2017

LIGO's fourth detection of gravitational waves from a black-hole merger, which occurred on August 14th, was announced at a meeting of the G7 science ministers in Turin. This detection is the first to also have been picked up by the Virgo detector, located near Pisa, Italy. This third detector (in addition to Hanford, Washington and Livingston, Louisiana) allows astronomers to measure gravitational waves in three dimensions for the first time. Stefan Ballmer was quoted in an article at theguardian.com.

Duncan Brown Co-Organizes LIGO Conference in Santa Barbara, Calif.

September 9, 2017

Six months after announcing their groundbreaking detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes, Syracuse University professor of physics worked with two other colleagues from the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) to coordinate a two-week workshop at the Kavli Institiute for Theoretical Physics (KITP) in Santa Barbara, California. Read more in Quanta Magazine

New York Times Features Story on Third Gravitational Wave Detection

June 1, 2017
The New York Times has published a story on LIGO's third detection of gravitational waves, which was announced on June 1, and the implications for astronomy. Read more at www.nytimes.com.

Third Gravitation Wave Detection Featured in Nature - SU Alum Quoted

Two Black Holes Collide (artist's conception)

Two Black Holes Collide (artist's conception)

June 1, 2017
LIGO's third detection of gravitational waves has been featured in an article in Nature. Alexander Nitz, alumnus of the Syracuse University Gravitational Wave Group, was instrumental in the detection and was interviewed for the article about spotting the signs of a black hole merger while testing a data-analysis algorithm he had written. "The moment I saw that, I think everything stopped for me," says Nitz. Read more at www.nature.com.

Third Gravitational Wave Detection Featured in Quanta Magazine

Professor Duncan Brown

Professor Duncan Brown

June 1, 2017
The third detection of gravitational waves has been featured in Quanta Magazine. The article discusses questions about black hole pairs and the scenarios that lead to black hole mergers. Syracuse University professor Duncan Brown was interviewed for the article. Read more at QuantaMagazine.org.

Syracuse Alumnus Instrumental in LIGO’s Third Detection of Gravitational Waves

Alex Nitz

Alex Nitz

June 1, 2017

An alumnus of the College of Arts and Sciences has been instrumental in the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO)’s third detection of gravitational waves, demonstrating that a new window onto astronomy is fully open.

Alex Nitz G’15, who earned a Ph.D. in physics, helped detect the signal on Jan. 4, 2017, using a software package he began developing at Syracuse. As was the case with LIGO’s first two detections, the wave in question came from the merger of two black holes, resulting in the formation of a single larger black hole.

“We are extremely proud of Alex for helping detect the furthest binary black hole merger that LIGO has seen. These black holes are over 2.8 billion light-years away,” says Duncan Brown, the Charles Brightman Professor of Physics at Syracuse.

Read more at news.syr.edu and AAAS EurekAlert!.

Physicist to be Recognized by National Academy of Sciences

Peter R. Saulson

Peter R. Saulson

January 26, 2017
We are pleased to announce that Peter Saulson, founder and co-leader of the Syracuse University Gravitational Wave Group, has been recognized by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (NAS) for his “outstanding leadership” of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) Scientific Collaboration. Read more at Syracuse University College of Arts & Sciences News. Congratulations, Peter!

Article by former Undergraduate Samantha Usman Published in CQG+

Steven Reyes, Samantha Usman, and Amber Lenon

Steven Reyes, Samantha Usman, and Amber Lenon

December 8, 2016
An article written by former SU undergraduate Samantha Usman, now pursuing an MPhil at Cardiff University, has been published in CQG+, the companion blog to Classical and Quantum Gravity. Read more at CQG+.

Syracuse University Postdoc Laura Nuttall quoted in Symmetry magazine

Illustration by Sandbox Studio, Chicago with Lexi Fodor

Illustration by Sandbox Studio, Chicago with Lexi Fodor

September 6, 2016
Laura Nuttall, a postdoctoral research in the gravitational wave group, was quoted in a Symmetry magazine article on gravitational wave physics. Read more at symmetrymagazine.org.

Syracuse, Cal State Fullerton Awarded Grant to Enhance Diversity in Astrophysics

Duncan Brown

Duncan Brown

August 23, 2016
Physicists in the College of Arts and Sciences are sharing a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant award with their colleagues at California State University, Fullerton, (CSUF) to recruit and expand the number of underrepresented students in gravitational-wave astronomy. Read more at SU news.

SU Postdoc Accepts Position at AEI, Potsdam

Ben Lackey

Ben Lackey

July 19, 2016
Postdoc Ben Lackey has accepted a postdoctoral position at the Albert Einstein Institute in Potsdam, Germany. Ben will be working with the group of Prof. Alessandra Buonanno on the study of compact-object mergers that contain neutron stars.

Duncan Brown Quoted in Mental Floss Article on 2nd Gravitational Wave Detection

Duncan Brown

Duncan Brown

June 20, 2016

Syracuse University Professor Duncan Brown was quoted in a Mental Floss article on the second detection of gravitational waves. Professor Brown discussed the importance of the second detection in confirming the validity of the groundbreaking initial signal. “We now know that the first detection wasn’t just luck. This tells us that we will be making regular detections of binary black holes” in the coming years. Read more at mentalfloss.com.

Amber Lenon Featured in Two Local News Stories

Amber Lenon

Amber Lenon

June 15, 2016
Syracuse University graduate Amber Lenon was featured in a Time Warner Cable news article and video, and in the Albany Times Union. See more at TWCnews.com and TimesUnion.com.

SU Helps LIGO Detect Second Pair of Collidiing Black Holes

June 15, 2016

On December 26, 2015, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) detected gravitational waves from a second pair of colliding black holes. “This new detection proves that the first discovery wasn’t just luck,” says Stefan Ballmer, associate professor of physics at Syracuse University. Read more at Syracuse University News.

Additional coverage:

SU Physics Grad Accepted to Cardiff University

Samantha Usman

Samantha Usman

May 15, 2016
Samantha Usman graduated a BS in Physics and will be attending Cardiff University, UK for one year to pursue an M.Phil. in physics. Samantha was honored at the 162nd Commencement as a University Scholar, Syracuse's highest academic honor for undergraduates. She plans to return to the US after her year abroad to pursue a Ph.D. in physics. Congratulations Samantha!

SU Physics Grad Accepted to WVU

Amber Lenon

Amber Lenon

May 15, 2016
Amber Lenon has graduated a BS in Physics and has been accepted to the physics graduate program at West Virginia University. As an undergraduate research student, Amber worked on the discovery of the binary black hole merger GW151226. Amber will be working on searches for binary black holes in eccentric orbits for the Ph.D. thesis. Congratulations Amber!

Samantha Usman Wins Prestigious Honors

Samantha Usman

Samantha Usman

April 15, 2016
Samantha Usman has beem selected as a 2016 University Scholar, Syracuse University's highest academic honor! Read more at Syracuse University news. Samantha was also selected as the 2016 recipient of the Norma Slepecky Prize for undergraduate research at SU. Congratulations, Samantha!

Article by Fabian Magaña-Sandoval Featured in Orange County Register

Fabian Magaña-Sandoval

Fabian Magaña-Sandoval

March 16, 2016
An article by Fabian Magaña-Sandoval, a graduate student in physiscs at Syracuse University, has been featured in the Orange County Register, in Orange County, California. The article describes Fabian's experience working with the LIGO group at Syracuse University. Read the article at OCRegister.com.

Soumi De Interviewed by BrainGain Magazine

Soumi De

Soumi De

March 11, 2016
Soumi De, graduate student at Syracuse University and member of the SU gravitational wave group, was recently interviewed for Brain Gain Magazine about her role in the detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes. Read Soumi's interview at BrainGainMag.

What Does it Sound Like When Black Holes Collide?

February 18, 2016
Pittsburgh NPR affiliate WESA featured a piece on the detection of colliding black holes and the implications for researchers and scientific theories going forward. Syracuse University's Samantha Usman was interviewed. Listen to the piece at WESA.fm.

Gravitational Waves Discovery

From left: A. Alan Middleton, Samantha Usman, Duncan Brown, Thomas Vo, Peter Saulson, Laura Nuttall, and Eric Sedore.

From left: A. Alan Middleton, Samantha Usman, Duncan Brown, Thomas Vo, Peter Saulson, Laura Nuttall, and Eric Sedore.

February 11, 2016
Syracuse University hosted a live broadcast of the NSF press conference about the detection of gravitational waves and held a panel discussion in Goldstein Auditorium at the Schine Student Center Thursday. “The discovery of these binary black holes crashing into each other is really just the beginning of a whole new field of gravitational wave discovery,” says Duncan Brown, the Charles Brightman Endowed Professor of Physics. “It’s going to open up many opportunities for new research from Astronuclear physics, to strong field gravity … all these exciting areas that capture the imagination of students. We are just at the beginning here.” Read more at Syracuse University News.

Former SU undergrad Amber Lenon interviewed for VanguardSTEM

Amber Lenon

Amber Lenon

January 17, 2016
Amber Lenon, now a graduate student at West Virginia University, was interviewed by VanguardSTEM about her work during the second gravitation wave detection and being a woman of color in STEM. Read more at vanguardstem.com.

Duncan Brown Named Brightman Endowed Professor

Duncan Brown

Duncan Brown

January 8, 2016

A physicist in Syracuse University’s College of Arts and Sciences is being recognized with a new endowed professorship.

Duncan Brown, a world-renowned expert in gravitational wave astronomy and astrophysics, has been named the inaugural Charles Brightman Endowed Professor of Physics. Brown is being lauded for his leadership role in the multinational Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) experiment, his excellence in teaching and mentoring, and his contributions to campus research computing.  Read more at AS News.

Dr. Jaclyn Sanders Joins the Gravitational Wave Astronomy Group

Dr. Jaclyn Sanders

Dr. Jaclyn Sanders

January 4, 2016
We are pleased to announce that Jaclyn (Jax) Sanders has accepted a post-doctoral position working with Assistant Professor Stefan Ballmer.  She will pursue experimental gravitational-wave advanced detector resesarch.

Dr. David Kelley successfully defends PhD thesis

Dr. David Kelley

Dr. David Kelley

November 20, 2015
Congratulations Dr. David Kelley on successfull defense of "Angular trapping of a mirror using radiation pressure."

Samantha Usman Named Recipient of the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation's Award

Samantha Usman

Samantha Usman

October 8, 2015
Samantha Usman, a double major in physics and mathematics, received a giant boost to her research efforts this summer when she was named a recipient of the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation’s award. The Pittsburgh, Pa. native will use the $10,000 prize to continue her research on gravitational waves with the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) group at Syracuse. Her interest in physics keeps her busy on campus, but she’s also found time to pursue boxing as a member of the University’s boxing team.  Read more at scholar.syr.edu.

Syracuse Physicists Advance Search for Gravitational Waves

LIGO Hanford

LIGO Hanford

September 18, 2015

Physicists in the College of Arts and Sciences are playing a key role in the first observation run of the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave (LIGO) Detector, after a meticulous five-year rebuild.
Read more at Syracuse University News.

Chris Biwer was Selected as a LIGO Scientific Collaboration Fellow

Chris Biwer

Chris Biwer

September 1, 2015
Congratulations to Chris Biwer who was selected as a LIGO Scientific Collaboration Fellow.  Chris spent three months at the LIGO Hanford Observatory working on the dectector's hardware-injection system.  This system is used to test the calibration of the LIGO detectors by adding simulated signals that move the detector's mirrors in the same way as a gravitational wave signal would.

Dr. Alex Nitz Successfully Defends PhD Thesis

August 20, 2015
Congratulations Dr Alex Nitz on successfull defense of "The Effect of Compact Object Spin on the Search for Gravitational Waves from Binary Neutron Star and Neutron Star - Black Hole Mergers." Read the thesis at SU Surface.

Research Scientist Antonio Perreca Moves to a New Position

Antonio Perreca

Antonio Perreca

June 30, 2015
Research scientist Antonio Perreca moves to a new position as a senior postdoctoral scholar at the California Institute of Technology.

Hannah Fair was selected as a LIGO Scientific Collaboration Fellow

Hannah Fair

Hannah Fair

June 1, 2015
Congratulations to Hannah Fair who was selected as a LIGO Scientific Collaboration Fellow.  Hannah spent three months at the LIGO Hanford Observatory working to help commission the detector prior to the start of the first Advanced LIGO Observing run.  Her work will include validating data quality diagnostics to ensure that the data are useful for astrophysics.

University Integral to Advanced LIGO Success

The University’s 300 tera-FLOP supercomputer benefits an array of researchers involved with the Advanced LIGO project, including Samantha Usman ’16, left, and research scientist Laura Nuttall.

The University’s 300 tera-FLOP supercomputer benefits an array of researchers involved with the Advanced LIGO project, including Samantha Usman ’16, left, and research scientist Laura Nuttall.

May 21, 2015
For nearly 25 years, the University’s participation in the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) project has been one of the College of Arts and Sciences’ biggest success stories. Dozens of faculty, postdocs and graduate and undergraduate students in the Department of Physics have joined in the search for gravitational waves of cosmic origins, making LIGO’s Hanford and Livingston observatories a home away from home.  Read more Syracuse University News.

Erika Cowan Accepts offer to PhD Program at Georgia Tech

Erika Cowan

Erika Cowan

April 6, 2015
Congratulations to Erika Cowan who accepted an offer to join the PhD program at Georgia Tech working with Deirdre Shoemaker and Laura Cadonati.