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Center for Fundamental Theory Center for Theoretical and Observational Cosmology Center for Particle and Gravitational Astrophysics

The Institute for Gravitation and the Cosmos is a multidisciplinary institute of Penn State researchers dedicated to the study of the most fundamental structure and constituents of the Universe.

News and Events

  • Kelly Malone, also a graduate student of Miguel Mostafa, was awarded a fellowship from the Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) program of the Department of Energy's Office of Science. This fellowship will allow her to work with HAWC collaborators from June-November 2016 at Los Alamos National Lab. Alan Coleman, also a graduate student of Miguel Mostafa, received an i-PROGRESS internship from the Helmholtz Alliance for Astroparticle Physics. It will allow him to visit and work with Auger colleagues at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology for one month in summer 2016.
  • Stephanie Brown, an undergraduate student working with Miguel Mostafa, was selected from over 100 applicants to receive the 2016 Erickson Discovery Grant.
  • Andrea Sylvia Biscoveanu was awarded a Goldwater Scholarship for 2016-17 from the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation. This is the premier award of its type in the fields of mathematics, science and engineering. Sylvia is a junior and started working in Miguel Mostafa's group already as a freshman. She has helped analyze data from the Pierre Auger Observatory, the largest cosmic ray facility in the world. She has also conducted research on gravitational waves from the LIGO collaboration. Full news story…
  • The paper Gravitational Waves from Isolated Systems: Surprising Consequences of a Positive Cosmological Constant by Abhay Ashtekar, Beatrice Bonga and Aruna Kesavan was published in Physical Review Letters as Editors' suggestion. It was also highlighted in Physics World, published by the British Institute of Physics. In particular, it extends the celebrated "Quadrupole formula" that Einstein published exactly 100 years ago to the case when there is a positive cosmological constant. Full news story…
  • A new window on the Universe opened through gravitational waves: The IGC role

    IGC researchers, led by Chad Hanna, played an important role in the exciting LIGO discovery of gravitational waves. Chad co-Chairs the compact binary coalescence group that identified the source as the collision of two black holes, each of about 30 solar masses. Over the past two decades, IGC researchers have made seminal contributions to all theoretical aspects of gravitational wave science that include mathematical and numerical general relativity, interface with astronomy and particle astrophysics, and computer science involving Big data. In 2001, the National Science Foundation awarded us a Physics Frontier Center with a mission to bring together scientists from different areas ranging from general relativity to astronomy and astrophysics to computer science, statistics and data analysis. Under the leadership of Sam Finn, the Center organized a very large number of focus sessions, workshops and outreach initiatives, thereby adding a much needed cohesion to the then emerging field of gravitational wave science. Finally, the Penn State team at the Swift mission center is also actively involved in searches for electromagnetic followups of sources of gravitational waves. More information….
  • Aruna Kesavan won the 2016 Eklund Award for Scientific Communication. These student lectures are held in honor of Peter Eklund, whose dedicated mentoring of students encouraged the highest standards of excellent in all aspects of research. Aruna will present the Physics Department colloquium on January 28, 2016.
  • Niel Brandt has received the Bruno Rossi Prize, the most prestigious award given by the Division of High Energy of the American Astronomical Society. Dr. Brandt "led the effort to obtain the deepest Chandra fields, enabling the most sensitive cosmological X-ray surveys to date. His work traces the accretion history of SMBH and their coevolution with host galaxies across cosmic time."
  • Beatrice Bonga and Aruna Kesavan were awarded travel grants that allowed them to participate in the "Mathematical General Relativity Conference" in the Tsinghua International Mathematics Center, Sanya, China in January 2016. Both were selected to give talks at the conference.
  • Elliot Nelson and Niayesh Afshordi won third prize of the 2015 Buchalter Cosmology Prize, which was announced at the 227th meeting of the American Astronomical Society. The Buchalter Prize was created in 2014 by Ari Buchalter and "seeks to reward new ideas or discoveries that have potential to produce a breakthrough advance in our understanding of the origin, structure and evolution of the universe." Drs. Afshordi and Nelson were recognized for their work "Cosmological Non-Constant Problem: Cosmological Bounds on TeV-Scale Physics and Beyond." This work was seen by the judging panel as "an intriguing proposition that the Planck scale of quantum gravity may soon be accessible by particle accelerators, based on the expected white noise fluctuations in the cosmological constant, which might not be constant at all by vary widely in space."

IGC Video

The Institute for Gravitation and the Cosmos (IGC) is dedicated to fostering the highest quality education and research in cosmology, general relativity, gravitational wave astronomy, particle astrophysics, quantum gravity and string theory, focusing on the highest energy phenomena and fundamental issues in the science of the cosmos.

Please take a few minutes to view an informational video on research conducted at IGC.

 

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