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Media Advisory 16-003

Thursday: Scientists to provide update on the search for gravitational waves

100 years after Einstein predicted the existence of gravitational waves, the National Science Foundation gathers scientists from Caltech, MIT and the LIGO Scientific Collaboration to update scientific community on efforts to detect them

LIGO infographic


NSF-funded, LIGO scientists will provide an update on their research at a press conference this week
Credit and Larger Version


February 8, 2016

Journalists are invited to join the National Science Foundation as it brings together scientists from Caltech, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the LIGO Scientific Collaboration (LSC) this Thursday at 10:30 a.m. at the National Press Club for a status report on the effort to detect gravitational waves -- or ripples in the fabric of space-time -- using the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO).

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the first publication of Albert Einstein's prediction of the existence of gravitational waves. With interest in this topic piqued by the centennial, the group will discuss their ongoing efforts to observe gravitational waves.

LIGO, a system of two identical detectors carefully constructed to detect incredibly tiny vibrations from passing gravitational waves, was conceived and built by researchers at MIT and the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), funded by the National Science Foundation, with significant contributions from other U.S. and international partners. The twin detectors are located in Livingston, Louisiana, and Hanford, Washington. Research and analysis of data from the detectors is carried out by a global group of scientists, including the LSC, which includes the GEO600 Collaboration, and the VIRGO Collaboration.

For additional background about the project, you may be interested in these websites:

WHEN:

Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016

10:30 a.m. US EST

WHERE:

The National Press Club, Holeman Lounge

529 14th Street NW, 13th Floor

Washington, DC 20045

MEDIA RSVP:

Seating is extremely limited, but an overflow room will be available where reporters can still ask questions and have access to additional subject matter experts to interview after the press conference. Only the first 50 journalists to arrive will be seated in the main room. All interested journalists should RSVP to any of the media contacts listed below to ensure press credentials are prepared ahead of time. A mult box will be available for broadcast media, and the Press Club is equipped with wireless access.

LIVE WEBCAST:

For press not based in the Washington, D.C. area, this event will be simulcast live online, and we will try to answer some questions submitted remotely. For details about how to participate remotely, please contact anyone listed below.

-NSF-

Media Contacts
Ivy F. Kupec, NSF, (703) 292-8796, ikupec@nsf.gov
Kimberly Allen, MIT, (617) 253-2702, allenkc@mit.edu
Tom Waldman, Caltech, (626) 395-5832, twaldman@caltech.edu

Related Websites
LIGO website: http://www.ligo.caltech.edu/

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2016, its budget is $7.5 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 48,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards. NSF also awards about $626 million in professional and service contracts yearly.

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