LIGO's Second Gravitational Wave Detection
The LIGO Scientific Collaboration has announced the second detection of gravitational waves that originated from the merging of two stellar mass black holes. The detection, GW151226, has been made on December 26, 2015 at 3:38:53 UTC. The article is published in the Physical Review Letters. Follow the link for the GT press release.
Milky Way’s Missing Red Giants
New computer simulations by former undergraduate student Thomas Forrest Kieffer and Prof. Tamara Bogdanovic shed light on the Milky Way's missing red giant stars. The state-of-the-art simulations provide a onclusive test for ahypothesis of why the center of the MIlky Way appears to be filled with young stars but has very few old ones. According to the theory, the remnants of older, red giant stars are still there - they just aren't bright enough to be detected with current telescopes.
The paper was published in the Astrophysical Journal on June 1 2016: CAN STAR–DISK COLLISIONS EXPLAIN THE MISSING RED GIANTS PROBLEM IN THE GALACTIC CENTER?
LISA Pathfinder paves way for the first space-based gravitational wave observatory
LISA Pathfinder, an European Space Agency satellite mission has successfully demonstrated the technology for a gravitational wave observatory in space. The LISA Pathfinder team presents the results in a paper published today in Physical Review Letters. The results show that the two test masses at the heart of the spacecraft are falling freely through space under the influence of gravity alone. They are unperturbed by other external forces, to a precision more than five times better than originally required. The link for the PRL
2016 Cottrell Award winner: Tamara Bogdanovic
The first Georgia Tech Cottrell Scholar since 1999, Tamara Bogdanovic's research, "Shedding Light on Supermassive Black Holes," will include the development of high-resolution computer models. Utilizing existing observational data, Tamara Bogdanovic will attempt to develop a new generation of theoretical models to aid in the discovery and observation of binary supermassive black holes.
The Cottrell Scholar program develops outstanding teacher-scholars who are recognized by their scientific communities for the quality and innovation of their research programs and their academic leadership skills.
For the education component of the Cottrell Scholar Award, Tamar will implement research-based teaching methods that “put emphasis on active student participation and collaborative learning.” She is also planing to develop online resources to enhance the student learning experience.
Computational Astrophysics Goes to Capitol Hill
Associate professor John H. Wise from the Center for Relativistic Astrophysics at Gatech roots for more supercomputing. On May 25, 2016 John Wise spoke at a Capitol Hill briefing after screening of "Solar Superstorms," a documentary funded by NSF. He urged support for more supercomputing.