Institute for CyberScience lecture to explore gravitational wave astronomy

Julian Fung
April 04, 2017

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Chad Hanna, assistant professor of physics at Penn State and co-hire of the Institute for CyberScience (ICS), will deliver a talk entitled “Gravitational Wave Astronomy’s Next Frontier in Computation” about his breakthrough discovery of gravitational waves, a phenomenon predicted 100 years ago by Albert Einstein. The talk will be from 3:30 to 5 p.m. on April 17 in 320 Whitmore Lab.

This event is part of a lecture series in which co-hired faculty from ICS explain how high-performance computing helps us make breakthrough discoveries.

The event is free to attend and open to faculty, graduate students, postdoctoral researchers and the public. Refreshments will be served.

Hanna will discuss how the emerging field of gravitational wave astronomy has been driven by advanced computational techniques. Astronomers have long attempted to detect gravitational waves — minute ripples in the fabric of space-time. In the early 20th century, Einstein posited the existence of gravitational waves in his general theory of relativity. These waves were first detected in 2015 by Hanna and his colleagues at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO).

Now that gravitational waves have been observed, astronomers aim to use them to learn about astronomical objects and events such as black holes and supernovae. Gravitational waves may even provide researchers with key information on the early life of the universe. Hanna will examine future directions in the field, identifying projects that can benefit from major advances in supercomputing technology.

To RSVP for the event, click here.

The Institute for CyberScience is one of the five interdisciplinary research institutes under the Office of the Vice President for Research, and is dedicated to supporting cyber-enabled research across the disciplines. ICS builds an active community of researchers using computational methods in a wide range of fields through co-hiring of tenure-track faculty, providing seed funding for ambitious computational research projects, and offering access to high-performance computing resources through its Advanced Cyber Infrastructure. With the support of ICS, Penn State researchers harness the power of big data, big simulation, and big computing to solve the world’s problems. For more information, visit or email  

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Last Updated April 21, 2017