Job Opportunities within IGC

Theoretical research at the Institute spans a broad spectrum of areas including geometry, analysis, computational science, particle astrophysics, general relativity, cosmology, quantum gravity and string theory. On the observational side, members of the Institute play a central role in major international initiatives including the Pierre Auger Cosmic Ray Observatory, the IceCube Neutrino Observatory, LIGO (Laser Interferometric Gravitational Wave Observatory) and the SWIFT Gamma Ray Burst Explorer Satellite. There are ample research opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students as well as post-doctoral scholars in all these areas.

At Penn State, through its inter-disciplinary research the Institute fosters scientific interactions between several departments and Centers in the Eberly College of Science. Similarly, the Center for Gravitational Wave Physics and the Center for Particle Astrophysics routinely deal with phenomenally large data sets which can provide challenging problems at the forefront of computational science. These offer opportunities for collaboration with experts on data mining and/or image analysis at the College of Information Science and Technology, particularly on the problem of giant pattern recognition. In recent years a large number of honors students in the Schreyer College have carried out research under the guidance of our faculty. In addition, several distinguished visiting scientists, including Roger Penrose, have given talks and held discussion sessions at this College.

This Week’s Seminars

  • Monday, Primordial Universe and Gravity (PUG) Discussions, 2:30 PM
    Speaker(s): Shomik Adhicary
    Title: Advance Alerts from Gravitational Wave Searches of Binary Compact Objects for Electromagnetic Follow-ups.

  • Tuesday, International Loop Quantum Gravity Seminar, 10:00 AM
    (Meets every other week)
    Speaker(s): No Speaker this week.

  • Tuesday, HEPAP/CPGA Seminar, 1:30 PM
    Speaker(s): Sunil Gupta, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research
    Title: Probing the electric potential and other properties of a powerful thunderstorm studied by the GRAPES-3 muon telescope at Ooty, India

  • Friday, Cosmology/Fundamental Theory Seminar, 9:30 AM
    Speaker(s): Leo Tsukada, PSU
    Title: First observations of neutron star and black hole mergers

Current News

$3.4 million NSF grant aims to make LIGO multimessenger discoveries commonplace

Chad Hanna was awarded a $3.4 million grant from the National Science Foundation to help develop software and services for discovering gravitational waves from black holes and neutron stars in real-time in order to facilitate the detection of prompt electromagnetic counterparts.

Specifically, the funds will be used to develop robust signal processing software and the creation of a suite of cyberinfrastructure services that will allow scientists to analyze LIGO data in real time. The goal is to allow scientists to make more discoveries, as well as be able to easily share those discoveries with the scientific community, which ultimately, will improve our understanding of the universe.

“We hope that this grant will benefit the entire scientific community and that, with it, we’ll make robust detections of increasingly more gravitational waves from neutron star mergers, and other signals that might have electromagnetic or neutrino counterparts,” said Hanna.

Hanna’s group leads efforts to detect gravitational waves in real-time to support multi-messenger astrophysics. The group is also involved with developing detection algorithms and software to identify the neutron star mergers in the gravitational wave data and using machine learning to cut through noisy data gathered during the gravitational wave observations. Both are integral to the real-time infrastructure and improvements will help facilitate future LIGO research. For more details, see PDF file.