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UO scientists play key role in further detection of gravitational waves at LIGO

Albert Einstein predicted the existence of gravitational waves as a consequence of his famous general theory of relativity, but until LIGO they had never been observed or measured. The detection and analysis of gravitational waves gives scientists a new window on the universe, allowing them to observe events far outside the Milky Way in ways never before possible.

In both recent detections, the UO team’s role was to ensure that the signal was actually from a gravitational wave and not the result of a terrestrial event, such as lightning. The Oregon team has worked hard to understand exactly how such earthly signals can interfere with a gravitational wave signal.

The second discovery “has truly put the ‘O’ for observatory in LIGO,” said Caltech’s Albert Lazzarini, deputy director of the LIGO Laboratory.

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