OzGrav headquarters is pleased to call for applications for the following two travel funding programs.
Applications for both programs close Friday 22nd September 2017.
International Visitor Funding Program
The OzGrav International Visitor Program has been established to support travel by leading international scientists to collaborate on OzGrav projects with OzGrav CIs and other members within Australia. This is a competitive funding program, with potential visitors to be nominated by OzGrav CIs. Visitors will be encouraged to visit multiple nodes, participate in node and theme meetings, and give seminars or public talks during their visit. At least one third of the budget should come from the hosting or sponsoring node(s).
Further details, guidelines, and application instructions are contained in the international visitor funding application form.
Student/Postdoc Travel or Placement Awards
We are inviting applications from OzGrav students and postdocs for travel awards to enable them to spend time working at other nodes or collaborating organizations on OzGrav projects, and/or to attend national or international conferences to communicate OzGrav research. This is a competitive funding program. Successful applicants may be awarded up to $3,000 for international placements/travel or up to $2,000 for domestic placements/travel. At least one third of the budget should come from the applicant’s home or host institution.
Further details, guidelines, and application instructions are contained in the student/postdoc travel award application form.
The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) has made a third detection of gravitational waves, ripples in space and time, demonstrating that a new window in astronomy has been firmly opened.
As was the case with the first two detections, the waves were generated when two black holes merged to form a larger black hole. In the latest merger, the final black hole was some 50 times the mass of our Sun. The recent detection, called GW170104, is the farthest yet, with the black holes located about three billion light-years away.
“The event released more energy in its last few orbits than that of rest of the entire universe, yet when the ripples passed the LIGO detector they made it vibrate by just one attometer, or 0.000000000000000001 metres”, says Professor Matthew Bailes, Director of the new Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Gravitational Wave Discovery (OzGrav).
Despite this tiny displacement, the scientists from the LIGO and Virgo scientific collaborations were able to demonstrate the black holes exhibited a property known as “spin”.
"This is the first time that we have evidence that the black holes may not be aligned, giving us just a tiny hint that pairs of black holes may form in dense stellar clusters," says Bangalore Sathyaprakash of Penn State University, one of two lead editors for the publication.
The research is published in Physical Review Letters and is described further in the Swinburne University Press Release. The discovery has generated good local media coverage including articles in The Conversation (by OzGrav Director and researchers), Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian, The Advertiser, Herald-Sun, and ABC News.
LIGO is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), and operated by MIT and Caltech, which conceived and built the project. Financial support for the Advanced LIGO project was led by NSF with Germany (Max Planck Society), the U.K. (Science and Technology Facilities Council) and Australia (Australian Research Council) making significant commitments and contributions to the project. More than 1,000 scientists from around the world participate in the effort through the LIGO Scientific Collaboration, which includes the GEO Collaboration. LIGO partners with the Virgo Collaboration, a consortium including 280 additional scientists throughout Europe supported by the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), the Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (INFN), and Nikhef, as well as Virgo’s host institution, the European Gravitational Observatory. Additional partners are listed at: http://ligo.org/partners.php.
The ARC Centre of Excellence for Gravitational Wave Discovery (OzGrav) is funded by the Australian Government through the Australian Research Council Centres of Excellence funding scheme. OzGrav is a partnership between Swinburne University of Technology (host of OzGrav headquarters), the Australian National University, Monash University, University of Adelaide, University of Melbourne, and University of Western Australia, along with other collaborating organisations in Australia and overseas.
Jessica Hales, Communications Manager, Swinburne University of Technology, Phone: (03) 9214 8077, Mobile: 0433 021 181, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Einstein's theory of general relativity predicts that colliding black holes and neutron stars generate ‘gravitational waves’ that cause ripples in the fabric of space-time. After such an event, space-time does not return to its original state, instead it stays permanently warped. The astonishing prediction of Monash University researchers (and OzGrav investigators) Eric Thrane and Paul Lasky, along with student Lucy McNeill is that this warping could be detected using the advanced LIGO detector - even when the signal that caused the warping was not observed.
More details in the Press Release, New Scientist article, and the full publication.
OzGrav researchers describe how Einstein’s ‘spooky’ entanglement could help detect gravitational waves
OzGrav researcher David Blair (UWA) writes in The Conversation about a paper in Nature magazine co-authored by fellow OzGrav researcher Chunnong Zhao (UWA). Zhao and colleagues have created an exciting new design that makes use of quantum entanglement to make more sensitive gravitational wave detectors.
Congratulations to OzGrav Program Leader Prof Susan Scott (ANU) who was selected to participate in the Homeward Board program, a groundbreaking leadership, strategic and science initiative for women, set against the backdrop of Antarctica. The initiative, turned global movement, aims to heighten the influence and impact of women with a science background in order to influence policy and decision making as it shapes our planet, within 10 years.
Prof Scott will undertake a year-long program to develop leadership and strategic capabilities, including an Antarctic expedition in February 2018. We will be following her journey over the next year here at ozgrav.org! Listen to Susan Scott speak about the program and how she is preparing for the journey with this 2CC radio podcast.
OzGrav joined Dr Karl and friends at Fed Square Melbourne for Stargazing Live! The OzGrav booth had long queues of people waiting to experience the universe through our Virtual Reality headsets. We thrilled many guests with a flight to the beginning of the Milky Way's evolution, a binary pulsar, the Parkes Observatory and finally a coalescing neutron star binary with associated gravitational waves. Thanks to OzGrav staff from Melbourne, Monash and Swinburne, who helped staff the booth and ensure that OzGrav's first outreach event was a great success!
OzGrav investigator Prof David Coward (UWA) writes in The Conversation about mysterious gamma ray bursts, neutrons stars and gravitational waves.
World Science Festival Brisbane: A panel of legends discusses the NEW ERA OF GRAVITATIONAL WAVE ASTRONOMY
As part of the World Science Festival Brisbane, OzGrav Chief Investigator Prof Professor David Blair (UWA) joins a star-studded panel including Brain Greene, Brian Schmidt, France Cordova and Barry Barish, to discuss the new era of gravitational wave astronomy. 10AM 25th March 2017. More information here.
On the one-year anniversary of the announcement of the first gravitational wave detection, OzGrav Associate Investigator Prof Alistair Graham writes about gravity and black holes in The Conversation.