LIGO Collaborators win 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics

On October 1, 2017, Rainer Weiss, Barry Barish, and Kip Thorne were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics “for decisive contributions to the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational waves.” LIGO confirmed the first direct observation of gravitational waves on September 14, 2015. Both LIGO detectors, one in Hanford, Washington, and one in Livingston, Louisiana, observed a gravitational wave from the merger of two black holes, and with that, the final piece of Einstein’s general theory of relativity fell into place.

The LIGO project, in order to estimate the statistical significance of gravitational wave candidate events, was able to leverage the high-throughput nature of OSG. In the past three years, LIGO has gained 19 Million CPU hours from the use of OSG, running 24.2 Million jobs across a large number of OSG sites. Peter Couvares, data analysis computing manager for the Advanced LIGO project, stated, “LIGO has tremendous data analysis challenges, and cutting-edge computing has been critical for our discoveries. The Open Science Grid is increasingly important to our efforts to leverage shared computing resources in the US and abroad.”

Peter recently attended the OSG Council meeting as a representative for the LIGO organization, which is the newest member organization on the OSG Council, solidifying the future of collaboration between OSG and LIGO.

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OSG previously ran an article about the initial detection of the gravitational waves.