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CIERA Contributes to the Historic First Detection of Gravitational Waves

On February 11, 2016 the National Science Foundation and the LIGO Scientific Collaboration (LSC) announced that their scientists successfully, for the first time, directly detected gravitational waves – or ripples in the fabric of spacetime – using the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO).

Through their dedicated research, CIERA faculty, postdocs, graduate and undergraduate students contributed to this momentous scientific discovery!

CIERA director Vicky Kalogera, a member of the LSC, attended the press conference held at the National Press Club in Washington, DC where this tremendous news was announced. Dr. Kalogera leads Northwestern’s LSC group, which includes Shane L. Larson, research associate professor of physics and astronomy at Northwestern and an astronomer at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago, and Selim Shahriar, professor of electrical engineering and computer science at Northwestern’s McCormick School of Engineering.



Learn more about LIGO, the collaboration of more than 1000 scientists worldwide who joined together in the search for gravitational waves.

February 11, 2016

The New York Times: “Physicists Detect Gravitational Waves, Proving Einstein Right” by Dennis Overbye
The New Yorker: “Gravitational Waves Exist: The Inside Story of How Scientists Finally Found Them” by Nicola Twilley
The Washington Post: “Cosmic breakthrough: Physicists detect gravitational waves from violent black-hole merger” by Joel Achenbach & Rachel Feltman
ScienceNews: “Gravity waves from black holes verify Einstein’s prediction” by Andrew Grant
The Chicago Sun-Times: “In stunning find, scientists detect Einstein-predicted ripples in space-time
Chicago Tribune: “Chicago scientists part of team that confirmed Einstein’s theory” by Marwa Eltagouri
WBBM – CBS 2: “Scientists Discover Proof Of Century-Old Einstein Theory
Chicagoist: Video: Chicago Physicist Explains Gravitational Wave Discovery In 2 Minutes by Rachel Cromisdas Video: Historic Gravitational Waves Discovery Explained By Experts
WGBH (Boston) – PBS: “How LIGO Detected Gravitational Waves” by Kate Becker
CNET: “Einstein nailed it! Gravitational waves do exist” by Michelle Starr
The Herald (Charlotte, SC): “Physicists detect gravitational waves from violent black-hole merger” Republished from The Washington Post
IFL Science: “Gravitational Waves Have Been Detected For The First Time” by Alfredo Carpineti

February 12, 2016

WLS 890 AM Radio: Dr. Shane Larson Explains The “Gravitational Waves” Discovery

February 13, 2016
The Verge: “How scientists will keep searching for gravitational waves: there are more ways to find them than just LIGO” by Loren Gush

February 15, 2016
Christian Science Monitor: “Why that gravitational wave discovery is so heavy” by Calla Cofield (
Greek Reporter: “Greek Scientist Among Team Who Made Detection of Gravitational Waves Discovery” by Philip Chrysopoulos
WTTW – PBS 11: “Detection of Gravitational Waves Stuns, Excites Scientific Community” by Paul Caine
Tech Times: “Here’s Why Discovery Of Einstein’s Gravitational Waves Is Such A Big Deal” by Katherine Derla

February 16, 2016
Nature: “Young scientists poised to ride the gravitational wave” by Alexandra Witze

February 17, 2016 “Black Holes, Too! Gravitational Wave Find Had Other Surprises” by Calla Cofield
ScienceNews: “Black hole heavyweights triggered gravity wave event” by Christopher Crockett

February 19, 2016
WGN Radio: Audio: Adler Astronomers Lucianne Walkowicz and Shane Larson: Einstein was right!

February 20, 2016
Daily Southtown: “You don’t have to be an Einstein to appreciate gravitational waves” by Donna Vickroy

February 25, 2016 “Gravitational Waves: Did Merging Black Holes Form from Single Star?” by Calla Cofield

February 26, 2016
Yahoo! News: “Gravitational Waves: Did Merging Black Holes Form from Single Star?” Republished from

March 23, 2016 “The Black-hole Collision that Reshaped Physics” by Davide Castelvecchi

April 6, 2016
Evanston Round Table: “Riding the Gravitational Wave” by Meg Evans Smith

Summer 2016
Northwestern Magazine Cover Story: “New Window to the Universe” by Stephanie Russell

December 12, 2016
Science News: “Magnetic stars could have created LIGO’s massive black holes” by Christopher Crockett