Leonard E Parker

Center for Gravitation, Cosmology & Astrophysics

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Leonard E Parker Center for Gravitation, Cosmology and Astrophysics

Center to lead major research effort in gravitational waves.

Posted by Patrick Brady on December 28, 2011

Researchers in the CGCA were awarded $9,000,000 by the National Science Foundation to develop and operate the LIGO Data Grid, a distributed computational facility to analyze data from the worldwide network of gravitational-wave detectors including LIGO. Gravitational waves remain an elusive prediction of Einstein’s general theory of relativity. The Advanced LIGO instruments will begin the search for gravitational waves around 2015. The LIGO Data Grid is an essential part of this massive scientific endeavor that involves more than 50 national and international partners.

The first direct detection of gravitational waves will be a watershed event in 21st century physics and astronomy. The scientific goals of the LSC rely on a substantial computational infrastructure, which spans astrophysical data analysis, detector and analysis middleware, software sustainability and computational hardware support. Initial LIGO has shown that cyber-infrastructure is as essential to gravitational-wave astronomy as the detectors themselves. It will not be possible to detect gravitational-wave sources, to study their properties, and to maximize the NSF's investment in LIGO without support for the enabling computational technologies. This award to develop and sustain Advanced LIGO's cyber-infrastructure will allow the LIGO Scientific Collaboration to be ready for the transformative new science that gravitational-wave observations will bring. The LDG research program will train students and postdocs to be experts in next-generation cyber-infrastructure, push the boundaries of LIGO's geographically distributed, locally-available computational data grid, and sustain the operation of this cyber-infrastructure to support LIGO's science mission. Collaborations with external partners (including Internet2, Globus, Condor and Pegasus) will have significant impact outside the LSC.

Learn more about at the LIGO Scientific Collaboration and the LIGO Data Grid web sites.

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