An unexpected origin story for a lopsided black hole merger

Researchers suggest a novel process to explain the collision of a large black hole and a much smaller one.

Jennifer Chu | MIT News Office • mit
Sept. 2, 2020 ~8 min

Tags: physics astrophysics astronomy research black-holes school-of-science national-science-foundation-nsf kavli-institute space-astronomy-and-planetary-science ligo

A “bang” in LIGO and Virgo detectors signals most massive gravitational-wave source yet

A binary black hole merger likely produced gravitational waves equal to the energy of eight suns.

Jennifer Chu | MIT News Office • mit
Sept. 2, 2020 ~10 min

Tags: physics astrophysics astronomy data research black-holes school-of-science national-science-foundation-nsf kavli-institute space-astronomy-and-planetary-science ligo

Are we still listening to space?

Despite the planet’s seeming standstill, graduate students continue to use LIGO to identify astrophysical events.

Fernanda Ferreira | School of Science • mit
Aug. 19, 2020 ~7 min

Tags: physics space covid-19 pandemic research black-holes school-of-science faculty kavli-institute ligo astronomy-and-planetary-science

Portable system boosts laser precision, at room temperature

“Light squeezer” reduces quantum noise in lasers, could enhance quantum computing and gravitational-wave detection.

Jennifer Chu | MIT News Office • mit
July 7, 2020 ~8 min

Tags: physics astrophysics space astronomy quantum-computing light research school-of-science national-science-foundation-nsf kavli-institute ligo astronomy-and-planetary-science

Quantum fluctuations can jiggle objects on the human scale

Study shows LIGO’s 40-kilogram mirrors can move in response to tiny quantum effects, revealing the “spooky popcorn of the universe.”

Jennifer Chu | MIT News Office • mit
July 1, 2020 ~8 min

Tags: physics astrophysics space astronomy research school-of-science national-science-foundation-nsf kavli-institute ligo astronomy-and-planetary-science

Capturing stardust

Danielle Frostig, a physics graduate student, is developing an instrument to study how the heaviest elements in the universe are produced.

Fernanda Ferreira | School of Science • mit
June 12, 2020 ~8 min

Tags: physics astrophysics space graduate profile research students school-of-science kavli-institute ligo astronomy-and-planetary-science postdoctoral

New instrument extends LIGO’s reach

Technology “squeezes” out quantum noise so more gravitational wave signals can be detected.

Jennifer Chu | MIT News Office • mit
Dec. 5, 2019 ~9 min

Tags: physics astrophysics space astronomy research school-of-science national-science-foundation-nsf kavli-institute ligo astronomy-and-planetary-science

Scientists detect tones in the ringing of a newborn black hole for the first time

Results support Einstein’s theory and the idea that black holes have no “hair.”

Jennifer Chu | MIT News Office • mit
Sept. 12, 2019 ~8 min

Tags: physics astrophysics space astronomy nasa research black-holes school-of-science national-science-foundation-nsf kavli-institute ligo astronomy-and-planetary-science

3 Questions: Salvatore Vitale on LIGO’s latest detections

“We will keep listening for these faint and remote cosmic whispers,” says the physics professor.

Jennifer Chu | MIT News Office • mit
May 2, 2019 ~6 min

Tags: physics astrophysics astronomy research black-holes gravitational-waves school-of-science national-science-foundation-nsf kavli-institute ligo

LIGO and Virgo detect neutron star smash-ups

Findings reported just weeks into the network’s latest operating run. (Press release)

MIT News Office • mit
May 2, 2019 ~8 min

Tags: physics astrophysics astronomy research black-holes gravitational-waves school-of-science national-science-foundation-nsf kavli-institute ligo

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