Research Opportunities

Graduate Research Opportunities

The interests of the gravitational wave group at Syracuse span a wide range of topics in experiment, data analysis and theory. We welcome interest from prospective graduate students, current SU graduate students, and undergraduates who are considering graduate studies at Syracuse University.

Possible research projects for Ph.D. students include development, implementation and use of algorithms to search for gravitational waves in LIGO and Virgo detector data, experimental research in advanced detector technologies, modeling sources of gravitational waves, development of data analysis techniques for advanced detectors and gravitational wave detector characterization.

If you are interested in a research project with our group, please cpmtact Prof. Stefan Ballmer, Prof. Peter Saulson, or Prof. Duncan Brown. Our group has regular meetings in Room 263 on Fridays at 9 am where we discuss our ongoing work (and eat bagels). We encourage all SU graduate students interested in gravitational-wave research to attend.

Undergraduate Research Opportunities

Undergraduates can participate in our research in a variety of ways. Possible projects include inspiral data analysis, audio detector characterization, measurements of mirror scattering. Other topics involved in LIGO data analysis, detector characterization, or measurement of component physical properties are also possible.

What is most required is curiosity about this branch of physics, and the dedication to put in a steady effort. For example, for an independent-study research project for academic credit during the regular semester, we usually ask for minimum commitment of 10 hours per week. Summer projects are another good way to immerse yourself in research, and paid jobs are often available.

Some examples of recent student projects:

  • Construction of a Michelson interferometer.
  • Servo damping of a harmonic oscillator.
  • Study of mechanical resonance damping in LIGO data classification of glitches in LIGO data.
  • Sensitivity of LIGO to acoustic noise.
  • Construction of scattered light measurement apparatus.