Gravitational waves and observational astrophysics
Almost all of the information that we have about the Universe comes from electromagnetic waves. In the near future, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) will open a new window on the Universe by observing gravitational waves; ripples in the fabric of space-time which were first predicted by Einstein. These waves will provide a revolutionary way of studying some of the most exotic objects in the universe: supernovae, neutron stars, and black holes. Syracuse University has an active research group engaged in opening this exciting new field of physics and astronomy. Students have the opportunity to work on hardware for the next generation of gravitational wave detectors and to develop techniques for finding gravitational waves and for using these waves to study the Universe. To support this research, the Syracuse group has excellent supercomputer technology to search LIGO data and model the behavior of black holes.