Proposal for UK Involvement in the Operation of Advanced LIGO

Lead Research Organisation: University of Birmingham
Department Name: School of Physics and Astronomy

Abstract

Within the next five years, and before the end of the period covered by this proposal, Advanced LIGO (aLIGO) is expected to detect gravitational waves and hence open a new era in astronomy. In this proposal we request support for essential infrastructure and travel costs required to ensure that the UK maintains its place among the leaders in the field and its partnership within the project.

Through the design and construction project "Advanced LIGO UK", and building on existing strengths, the UK has succeeded in making unique and fundamental contributions to major aspects of the aLIGO gravitational wave detectors in the US, primarily by transfer of silica suspension technology originally developed at Glasgow for GEO600. The resulting suspensions are absolutely central in enabling aLIGO to meet its sensitivity target. During the first phase of operations, the UK supplied equipment has been installed and integrated into two aLIGO detectors. As a direct result, UK groups are in a position to exploit the rich science data that will be produced by these detectors and their observing partners during the current decade.

We propose to strengthen the UK position by providing the support and infrastructure necessary for full involvement in the operation of the aLIGO detectors and therefore to remain active partners in the user-community group, the LIGO Scientific Collaboration (LSC), through which data rights are earned and distributed.

Of similar importance is the need to ensure that UK-delivered equipment and facilities for the aLIGO detectors are fully exploited to maximise the science potential of aLIGO. This is true both in terms of their implementation within aLIGO, and later when it is planned that aLIGO will be further upgraded.

The applicant groups are recognised leaders in the field of analysis of data from gravitational wave detectors. Novel methods were developed for searches with GEO600 and other detectors operational over the past decade. Leadership in this area has ensured that the UK groups have strong roles in all of the LSC data analysis groups that coordinate search campaigns, set priorities and validate results. This complements the similarly strong role that the UK has on the hardware side, in the LSC's technical working groups.

The UK membership of the LSC is considerable - currently 12% by authorship. The ALUK project and exchange of data from GEO600 have allowed us to leverage top-level project management positions for a relatively small investment in the aLIGO hardware. This is set out in our Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with LIGO, and includes a seat on the project Oversight Committee for an STFC representative and membership of the LSC Executive Committee. Of course we have full access to data and an equal share in the science return.

It is essential that we maintain involvement at the highest level as set out in detail in this proposal. We therefore request travel support for essential observing duties and resources to allow us to provide technical support during detector commissioning and operations. Analysis of the data requires access to high performance computer infrastructure. With the first detections, demand for computing resources is certain to be high. Therefore, to provide a solid basis for exploitation of aLIGO science data within the UK we request computing infrastructure resources commensurate with our membership of the LSC.

At the US LIGO sites - the LIGO Livingston and LIGO Hanford Observatories (LLO/LHO) - first tests of the completed detectors are underway, and in November 2014, just a few months after first operation, the LLO detector achieved sensitivity to coalescing binary neutron stars at over 50 megaparsec (Mpc) distance - well on target for initial science runs to start in 2015.

Planned Impact

In terms of academic impact, the immediate beneficiaries include the UK astronomy community - extending far beyond the applicant groups, who will gain access to Advanced LIGO data at the time when the first gravitational wave signals are most likely to be seen. In the longer term, the research will radically alter our understanding of the Universe, including information on the nature of neutron stars and black holes, and through opportunities for precision cosmology. This will benefit the widest astronomy/astrophysics community, internationally.

With regard to societal impact, cosmology and astrophysics are exciting areas and reliably excellent topics for public outreach. There will be considerable impact resulting from the discovery of gravitational waves and the burgeoning science that will inevitably result. To have a major focus for this new science in the UK should help revitalise public interest at a time when economic pressures could potentially fight against the growth of science in our community. There is no doubt that a discovery of gravitational waves would galvanise public interest at all levels from school pupils up, particularly in or around the Einstein centenary celebrating general relativity as a breakthrough in the understanding gravity, and the International Year of Light. An improved understanding of cosmology and compact-object astrophysics, of the most impressive and even violent nature, is bound to catch the public imagination, and produce demand for creative works such as television programmes. A concrete example of direct benefit of Advanced LIGO UK to the popular culture exists in the Science Museum, London, where pre-prototype test mass and the metal structural components of an Advanced LIGO test-mass suspension, both made available by the collaboration, have been on display for several years.

The earlier Advanced LIGO UK construction project brought direct benefit to several areas of UK industry both through the placement of over £3M of contracts, but also by pushing manufacturing techniques to reach higher standards of quality and precision required for our work. Examples include: optics, precision mechanics and electronics. In some cases these companies have subsequently been able to market the resulting technology, nationally and internationally winning substantial contracts.

Work carried out under our present Advanced LIGO Operations grants has included developments in the areas of grid computing, particularly in the field of authentication and access control - an area where the UK already leads. The current proposal will lead to further work in this area.

In summary there is a wide range of potential impact. The majority of these should start to be realised well within the duration of the project (it is more than likely that a discovery will be made during the period of this proposal). By the close of the decade gravitational wave science should be becoming mature, and the consequences for both science and its public understanding should have attained major proportions as one of the most exciting areas of new science.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description Astrophysics at the University of Birmingham
Amount £1,830,268 (GBP)
Funding ID ST/S000305/1 
Organisation Science and Technologies Facilities Council (STFC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2019 
End 03/2022
 
Description Enhancing gravitational wave detector sensitivity and bandwidth for astronomy
Amount $1,097,000 (AUD)
Funding ID DP170104424 
Organisation Australian Research Council 
Sector Public
Country Australia
Start 01/2017 
End 12/2021
 
Description Gravitational Wave Astronomy at the University of Birmingham, STFC Equipment Call 2018
Amount £81,350 (GBP)
Funding ID ST/S002154/1 
Organisation Science and Technologies Facilities Council (STFC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2018 
End 06/2019
 
Description Gravitational Wave Excellence Through Alliance Training (GrEAT) Network with China
Amount £6,405 (GBP)
Funding ID n/a 
Organisation Science and Technologies Facilities Council (STFC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2018 
End 12/2020
 
Description Newton STFC Capacity Building ith LIGO-India
Amount £7,951 (GBP)
Organisation Science and Technologies Facilities Council (STFC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 06/2017 
End 05/2020
 
Description The Royal Society International Exchanges Scheme
Amount £12,000 (GBP)
Funding ID IEC\NSFC\170345 
Organisation The Royal Society 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2018 
End 03/2019
 
Title GW sources 
Description data set of the detected gravitational wave sources 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2016 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact it's the first and only catalogue of astronomical objects known in gravitational waves 
URL https://losc.ligo.org/about/
 
Title finesse 
Description Frequency domain INterfErometer Simulation SoftwarE 
Type Of Material Computer model/algorithm 
Year Produced 2007 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact it has allowed design and debug laser interferometers with a simple but powerful tool. It has allowed to simulate many different user-defined optical setups. It has been used for Advanced LIGO 
URL http://www.gwoptics.org/finesse/
 
Title lalinference 
Description data analysis technique to study the properties of gravitational-wave sources 
Type Of Material Data analysis technique 
Year Produced 2010 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact it has enabled the characterisation of the physical properties of GW sources 
URL https://www.lsc-group.phys.uwm.edu/daswg/projects/lalsuite.html
 
Description GEO Collaboration 
Organisation Max Planck Society
Department Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics
Country Germany 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Data analysis and instrumental development
Collaborator Contribution Data analysis and instrumental development
Impact Many papers, technology developments, and outreach events
 
Description GEO Collaboration 
Organisation University of Glasgow
Department Physics and Astronomy Department
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Data analysis and instrumental development
Collaborator Contribution Data analysis and instrumental development
Impact Many papers, technology developments, and outreach events
 
Title CPNest 
Description A generic nested sampling tool for bayesian model selection and parameter estimation. 
Type Of Technology Software 
Year Produced 2017 
Open Source License? Yes  
Impact Recently released, but intend it to be useful in population modelling and signal extraction, within the gravitational wave and wider community. 
URL https://github.com/johnveitch/cpnest
 
Company Name Laser Labs Games CIC 
Description Laser Labs is a small scale developer for educational apps. Our aim is to promote science using well designed and fun apps. Our endeavour can be traced back to the Gravitational Wave Group at the University of Birmingham where we developed our first applications, from simple simulations to arcade-style games. These were soon used at science fairs by ourselves and by other scientists around the world. The apps work well for attracting an audience and for providing talking points to introduce specific research topics. Our applications became an important element in a highly ranked impact case study for the REF 2014, a regular process for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. Laser Labs Games CIC, or Laser Labs for short, was founded to provide the legal structure for bringing our applications to the well known app stores. We are now recreating our applications for modern devices and technologies, and continue to work with research groups to discuss new ideas and to develop new apps to help bringing science to the masses. 
Year Established 2016 
Impact We succesfull managed to port two of our apps Pocket Black Hole and Strecth and Squash to mobile apps in time for the announcement of the first graviational wave detection. Many of the groups in the LIGO Scientific Collaboration used these apps during the public engagement activities around the event. We later published a mobile version of Space Time Quest and are now preparing Black Hole Master for mobile.
Website https://www.laserlabs.org/
 
Description The Superposition (Leeds) with Leon Trimble 08/2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The Superposition is a network and space for artists, makers and scientists to collaborate. We presented our science+art collaboration with artist Leon Trimble.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description A unified framework for improving quantum-limited detector sensitivity 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact This is a talk that I gave at Amaldi 12 Gravitational-Wave Conference held at Pasadena California. This is one of the largest international conference on gravity-related research. I talked about a unified framework for improving quantum-limited sensitivity of gravitational-wave detectors. This is based upon the recent breakthrough understanding of fundamental quantum limit of detector sensitivity. The audiences showed great interests to the topic, and asked many detailed questions after the talk.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://amaldi12.org
 
Description An interview by China Global Television Network 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact On March 14, 2017, I was interviewed by China Global Television Network (formerly CCTV International) to comment on Steven Hawking's life and legacy.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FzAvyDiFalw
 
Description Art Science Installation at Popular Music Festival 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Description: 3-day art-science installation at the popular music festival "Lunar". A model gravitational wave detector was installed into the event with a poster explaining how the detector works and how this links to a performance later that day. There was an evening talk by model detector explaining how the detector followed by a performance of the Gravity Synth. Number of People: Attendee's: 7000, Gravitational Waves Talk: 30
Impact: 10 minutes of interesting questions, followed by hour an of informal discussion a group of teachers about bringing gravitational waves into the classroom.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Astronomy in the City 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Astronomy in the City is our flagship outreach event. It's hosted about 5 times a year, advertised widely by the university in the city and region. Tickets are free and must be booked. We regularly have >100 attendees per event. Each event inlcudes a number of different activities, inlcuding a visit to the University's observatory, a talk by an expert and often hands-on exhibits. We make sure that the talks are related to our own STFC funded research and over the last 12 month gravitational waves and black holes have been the key feature.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014,2015,2016,2017
URL http://www.sr.bham.ac.uk/observatory/astronomyinthecity.php
 
Description Astronomy in the City: Latest LIGO news - Neutron Star merger detection 10/2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Astronomy in the City is our regular flagship event with the (free) tickets typcially booked out well in advance. This was a dedicated event to the LIGO announcement of a neutran star detection. The evnt includes an expert talk, a question and answer session with an expert panel and hands-on demos.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Cavalcando le onde gravitazionali a caccia di buchi neri e chissa' cos'altro 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Many questions and requests for further discussion and participation to events
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.mantovascienza.it/2017/09/15/cavalcando-le-onde-gravitazionali-a-caccia-di-buchi-neri-e-c...
 
Description Cheltenam Science Festival, Cheltenham, 06/2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Organised a stand on graviational wave science at this well know event. The event lasted 2 days and was very busy with more than 3600 visiting our stand.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.cheltenhamfestivals.com/science/science-in-the-square/makershack/
 
Description Conditional Frequency Dependent Squeezing via EPR Entanglement 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact This is a talk given at the LSC-VIRGO Collaboration September Meeting in Geneva, where I presented an new idea of improving gravitational-wave detector sensitivity based upon quantum entanglement.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Conditional frequency dependent squeezing via EPR entanglement 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact This is a talk that I gave at the largest annual meeting of LIGO Scientific Collaboration and VIRGO Collaboration which was held at CERN Geneva. I talked about a new idea of improving the quantum-limited sensitivity of advanced gravitational-wave detectors by using the famous Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen quantum entanglement.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.et-gw.eu/index.php/news/119-lsc-virgo-meeting-2017
 
Description Design Concepts for High-Frequency Gravitational Wave Detectors 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact This is an invited talk at the KITPC Workshop on Gravitational Waves 2018 in Beijing. The audiences are international colleagues in the gravitational-wave community.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://2018gw.csp.escience.cn/
 
Description Educational computer games 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Development of two completely new computer games (Black Hole Pong) and gravitational wave detection (Space Time Quest). In the first year after its release Space Time Quest achieved 10,000 downloads and Black Hole Pong close to 5000

The games have been used internationally at many science fairs and events and are always a focal point especially for younger children.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010,2011,2012,2013,2014
URL http://www.gwoptics.org/processing/space_time_quest/
 
Description Founder and editor on chief of the LIGO Magazine 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A new magazine was founded in 2012 to cover the activities of the 900 scientists strong LIGO Scientific Collaboration. The magazine's prime audience is the collaboration itself. However, we chose to provide a professionally produced and layouted magazine so that members of the public and policy makes can be targeted as well. So far the magazine has been downloaded more than 10000 times. The magazine was founded by Prof Andreas Freise, who has been editor in chief until 2017, Hannah Middletos is deputy editor in chief. Several individual contributions from the Birmingham group have been published in the magazine over the years.

We received several commendation from policy makes and external scientists alike on the professional image that the magazine conveys about our collaboration. However, a detailed impact analysis has not been done.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012,2013,2014,2015,2016
URL http://www.ligo.org/magazine/
 
Description Fundamental Quantum Limit of Gravitational-wave Detectors 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact This is a talk presented in the 9th Nottingham Symposium on Quantum Systems held by the University of Nottingham. The audiences are colleagues from the University of Nottingham.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Fundamental quantum limit of gravitational-wave detectors 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact This is an invited talk that I gave at 9th Nottingham Symposium on Quantum Systems which was held in University of Nottingham.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Girls in STEM, University of Birmingham 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Organising and hosting a 'Grabitational Waves Workshop' for the Girls in STEM day at the University of Birmingham. Classes from two local school attended.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Gravitational-wave Astronomy and Quantum-limited Instruments 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact This is a talk given at Tianqin Research Centre in the Sun Yat-Sen University. I gave an overview of the research in our Insititute for Gravitational-Wave Astronomy at Birmingham.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Gravitational-wave astronomy and quantum-limited instruments 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact This is a talk that I gave at the Tianqin Research Centre in the Sun Yat-Sen University (SYSU). It provided an overview of research activities of Birmingham Institute of Gravitational Wave Astronomy, and aimed at establishing collaborations between Birmingham and SYSU which hosts a strong gravitational-wave group.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Gravity Fields Festival, Grantham 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Workshop at the national Gravity Fields Festival in Grantham on the gravitiational wave astronomy.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.gravityfields.co.uk/index.aspx?articleid=10447
 
Description IMPACT Symposium by STFC/IOP 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact IOP, STFC, SEPnet and the University of Birmingham organised a one-day conference on sharing best pracises for outreach and public engagements. In addition to participating to the conference, our group presented a stand showcasing gravitaitonal wave science and the media and exhibits we have developed for that purpose.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://iop-london.msgfocus.com/files/amf_iop_london/project_81/Final_programme.pdf
 
Description IOP Evening Lecture, University of Birmingham 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Public IOP Evening Lecture, University of Birmingham by Andreas Freise on "Gravitational waves, from detection to astronomy"
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/schools/physics/outreach/Secondary-Schools/IOPEveningLectures.aspx
 
Description IOP Evening Lecture, University of Nottingham 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact IOP Evening Lecture, University of Nottingham, public talk on Gravitationl Wave Astronomy by Prof. Andreas Freise
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Interview by Guardian 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Interviewed by The Guardian newspaper.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www.theguardian.com/science/2016/jun/15/gravitational-waves-detected-from-collision-of-secon...
 
Description Interview by Science Studio 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Interviewed for Science Studio programme on KTEP radio station, Texas plus their podcast.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://ktep.org/post/science-studio-ligo
 
Description Interview for the breakthrough discovery of merging binary neutron stars 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact I was interviewed by the media of University of Birmingham to comment on the breakthrough discovery of binary neutron stars, which marks the dawn of multi-messenger astronomy.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/news/latest/2017/10/Scientists-celebrate-first-direct-observation-of-co...
 
Description Laser Interferometric Gravitational Wave Detectors-Where Gravity Meets Quantum 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact I was invited to give a seminar on quantum aspects of laser interferometric gravitational wave detectors at the Quantum Engineering Technology Labs in the University of Bristol.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Listening to Einstein's universe (exhiition at the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition 2017) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact We, as part of a larger UK team, co-organisted a stand on graviaitonal waves at the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibitiion in 2017. The stand featrued a mini-LIGO interferometer provided by our group and two online apps (shown on tablets) made by our research group. The exhibition was vistited by 2002 students with 262 teachers, and 10,123 public visitors. We collected feedback from 100 visitors who reported a change in their understanding of current research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://royalsociety.org/science-events-and-lectures/2017/summer-science-exhibition/
 
Description Malvern Festival of Innovation 10/2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Joint event of several local schools, including: Malvern St. James, Hanley Castle, Woodrush High School, CWLS(?), Bishop Perowne, Baxter College. Catshill School. We presneted a plenetarium show (first shows using our new inflatable planetarium), in total 7 shows for 200 students.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.festival-innovation.com/programme/next-generation-innovators
 
Description Marie-Curie training event about public engagement 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact I gave a presentation to Marie-Curie Individual Fellowship holders about the development of a museum exhibit that was displayed at the Science and Technology museum of Birmingham (the Thinktank). The exhibit was developed over the course of 2 years, from seed concept to live display, and involved hardware, custom electronics, a software interface, and short videos that were integrated with an interactive display. My talk focussed on how continuing smaller-scale involvement with the Thinktank (through 'meet an expert' events and so forth) led to this larger involvement.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Meet the Expert at Thinktank Science Museum, 08/2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Meet the export event as part of the 'Museum of Moon' theme, with focus on astromomy related to our STFC funded research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Oxford University Student Society, public talk 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact Oxford University Student Society, public talk by Prof Andreas Freise.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Participation to 'maker monday' 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Maker Monday is an opportunity for collaboration between media experts and researchers, designed as a monthly event focused on combining the expertise of individuals in both arts and technology in a collaborative space. We provided a short talk introducing gravitational wave astronomy to a mostly technology/art interested audience. We used our art/science collaboration with Leon Trimble to introduce gravitational wave astronomy in the context of art and technology. The audience was very interested, questions included: the underlying technology behind gravitational wave astronomy, application of the technology and what astrophysics we can learn. Impact: Following this event, a teacher contacted us citing this event as inspiration for a school visit about python and gravitational waves. Additionally, the organiser of Maker Monday cited this talk as "the best Maker Monday talk ever" and won industry funding for the artist (Leon Trimble) to continue his interdisciplinary research on developing art from science equipment & inspired by science on a funded 2-year masters.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.bcu.ac.uk/business/steam/makermonday
 
Description Participation to Pint of Science 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact PhD student Aaron Jones spoke at the annual atoms to galaxies pint of science event. This year as last featured a short section at the end including our collaboration with Leon Timble, who is an artist collaboration with us.
Intended goal: Share how the UK's involvement in the upgrades to LIGO over the past 20 years influenced the ability to detect the binary neutron star GW17081 with the General Public.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Participation to Science Festival Gravity Fields 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Following the initial performance, we exhibited for a further three days as part of the science exhibit section of the performance. The Gravity Synth was placed alongside the Institutes in-house developed public engagement games Stretch and Squash, Space-Time Quest, Black Hole Master and Pocket Black Hole. Two 3rd year PhD students were on hand to discuss the institutes work, furthermore Artist Leon Trimble was continuously performing and engaging with members of the public, teaching them to 'play' the interferometer. Finally, the Institutes planetarium was used to house in-depth talks connecting a Y9 understanding of Gravity to the research undertaken by at the Institute.

The main aim of the exhibit was to expose new audiences to the Institute's research though play and performance. The secondary aim of the exhibit was to expose interested members of the public to our existing opportunities for public engagement with our research. Impact was measured by means of a questionnaire provided to all those who engaged with us for more than 10 minutes.

A total of 220 people attended the in-depth talks. The majority of people we spoke to (22/31) had heard of Gravitational Waves, with a much smaller fraction (8/30) having heard of the Gravitational Wave Observatory LIGO and an even smaller fraction (5/31) knowing that the University of Birmingham was involved in this research. After speaking to us, 10/28 correctly identified laserlabs.org as the place where we host our in-house public engagement apps out of a list of options with correct sounding answers. We spoke to around 300 people. Furthermore 12/31 people signed up to our Astronomy In the City mailing list, with several others indicating that distance was the only prohibitive factor. The total attendance was therefore 880 including the talks, Wednesday performance and interactive exhibit.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Participation to public event: Future Everything Art-Science Crossover Performance 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact We presented 40 minutes of gravitational wave inspired audiovisual performances accompanied by a 10 minute introduction to gravitational wave by two PhD students. This was alongside 2 other sets of audiovisual art.
Outcome: 5 interested artists exchanged contact details. These artists have now agreed to do a national tour showcasing art inspired by gravitational waves.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.futureeverything.org/events/future-sessions-launch-party/
 
Description Participation to workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact `Midland synth day' is an opportunity for midland musical synthesizer enthusiasts to meet, perform and discuss the latest ideas and technology. We attended as part of a collaboration on gravitational waves and synthesizers.
This was an opportunity to present the science of Gravitational Wave detection to a new audience of synthesizer enthusiasts. The underlying techniques of signal processing and control loops are common to both fields so this was an interesting crossover art-science engagement event. We attended as part of a collaboration exploring gravitational waves and audiovisual performance. We curated one of the three rooms and displayed visualizations of gravitational waves around the room with music inspired by gravitational waves and partially generated using optical interferometry. Experts were on hand to discuss the underlying science. Of around 300 attendees, 10-20 actively engaged and showed significant interest in science.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Pint of Science 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Public talk "Einstein's Last Quest" on gravitational waves as part of the Pint of Science nation-wide event.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://pintofscience.co.uk/
 
Description Prospects of Improving Detector at Low Frequencies and High Frequencies 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact This is an invited talk given at the LSC-VIRGO Collaboration March Meeting in Sonoma State University, which is the largest annual meeting of the collaboration.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://ligo.sonoma.edu/
 
Description Public engagement workshop on using interactive media and games 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact We organised a series of (so far) two workshops which explores the use of games and interactive media for science outreach, using our own research on gravitational waves. The workshops were led by former PhD student Anna Green and Professor Andreas Freise, Deputy Director of the Institute of Gravitational Wave Astronomy and co-founder of Laser Labs. The session started with introductions to gravitational waves and to public engagement with research, and also included an interactive element as well as attendee participation to help feedback and build upon ideas already in place. While the Gravitational Waves group have now built up a small portfolio of apps, the main focus of the session was their latest game 'Black Hole Master'.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Public event with science demonstration: `Research at the Heart of Brum' 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Public event in the city centre of Birmingham to engage with the people in the region: 'On Saturday 6th October UoB researchers took over the main concourse at New Street Station from 11am-5pm. The event featured games, demos and hands-on activities to bring our amazing research to life.'
31 completed feedback forms were returned to us, and these, as well as analysis of the #HeartofBrum Twitter activity. For example, together, we had around 1,500 interactions with an estimated 800 members of the public and whilst the Teddies and Physics were the biggest hitters in terms of numbers, every single research group was mentioned and praised in the feedback I have so far. The interactivity of the activities and your enthusiasm were people's favourite aspects and we got an incredible overall rating of 9.4/10 (range 7-10). Of those we have responses from, only 48% of people had ever heard of UoB research, but 100% would come again.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Public lecture (National Astronomy Meeting Schools Day) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Was invited to give a talk at the National Astronomy Meeting Schools Day 2016 to around 300 school-children (ages 16+).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www.nam2016.org/public-and-schools-events/schools-and-teachers
 
Description Public talk at local secondary school (Five Ways), Freise 10/2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Public talk at a local secondary school (enrichment for 6th form).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Quantum Limits of Laser Interferometric Gravitational Wave Detectors 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact This is a seminar given at Tsinghua State Key Laboratory of Low-Dimensional Quantum Physics.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Quantum Techniques in Laser interferometric Gravitational Wave Detectors 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact This is a talk given at the Workshop on Quantum Sensors for Fundamental Physics held in Oxford. The audiences are colleagues from both quantum measurement and particle physics community.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Raddical Sabbatical, Sarah Farmer 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A new collaboration with an artist in residence, Sarah Farmer, at the University of Birmingham. The aim of the collaboration is to explore artistic explression related to the research effort around gravtiational wave astronomy. This activity has just started.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Radio Interview, Burn FM 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact Interview with regional radion Burn FM on the discovery of gravitational waves with Prof. Andreas Freise.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://howesthat.org.uk/radio-show/2016/11/6/show-4-space-week
 
Description Redditch Astro Society GW Talk 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A talk at the Redditch astronomy society about the black holes discovered by Advanced LIGO in its first observing run and the dawn of gravitational wave astronomy.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Release of mobile app Space Time Quest 10/2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact We released a completely new implemetation of our computer game Space Time Quest in time for the LIGO annoucement of the neutron star detection. The game is a simultion game in which the player can design their own detector. It is avilable in English. Spanish, Catalan, Dutch, Chinese, French, Italian and Russian. The new mobile version has already accumulated more than 5000 entries in the online leaderboard.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.laserlabs.org/spacetimequest.php
 
Description School Visit, King Edward VI 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact School talk
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description School visit (Queensbridge) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact I was invited to talk to around 50 secondary students (ages 14-16) about my research, the discovery of gravitational waves, choosing a career in science and studying at university. Feedback from teachers suggests it was very well received by students.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Sociel media engagement for the announcement of Nobel Prize in Physics 2017 for LIGO 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Our group was part of the team that supported the LIGO sociel media engagement around the Nobel prize annoucement.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description TEDXWarwick 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact One of the TEDX talks @ Warwick under the theme breaking boundaries. The talk sparkled many discussions and interactions with the public and other speakers about taking new and different approaches to problems in order to make progress.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.tedxwarwick.com
 
Description Talk at IOP event. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Talk at a regional IOP event in Worcester, on the recent discoveries by LIGO.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Talk at University of Birmingham Research Conference Workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Talk at session 'Can Culture Change the World?' on the impact of the discovery of the discovery of gravitational waves. The session explored collaborations between academics, artists and creative practitioners which provide new and exciting opportunities to engage the public with research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Talk at astronomical society Crewe, Freise 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Talk in a local astronomical society and the recent discoveries by LIGO.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Talk for school children at university residential summer school 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Talk for school children on GW astronomy
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description TedX talk, at the University of Birmingham, on the Gravity Synth and the processes of gravitational wave detection and developing art from science. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact TedX a locally organised talks in the tradition and style of the original Ted talk, aiming at a high quality of content and production.

The talk inspired a number of questions about Gravitational Waves, Black Holes and requests for more information about LIGO during a separate lunchtime discussion group about space & the earth which were answered by members of the University Astronomical Society
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description The birth of gravitational wave astronomy 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact about 100 people attended the talk that was followed by many questions and conversations.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.atomfestival.org.uk/our-team/atom-2017/
 
Description Towards the Design of Gravitational-wave Detectors for Neutron-star Physics 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact This is a seminar given at Tsinghua University Centre for Astrophysics (THCA), where I reported a new design of gravitational-wave detector for probing neutron star physics.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Towards the design of gravitational-wave detectors for neutron-star physics 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact This is a seminar that I gave at the Tsinghua University Centre for Astrophysics (THCA). It was about a new conceptual design of a gravitational-wave detector for probing new physics during the merger phase of binary neutron stars.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Wordls Collide, collaboration with Leaon Trimble 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact New collaboration wth audio-visual artist Leon Trimble. The aim of the collaboration is to explore artistic explression related to the research effort around gravtiational wave astronomy, in particular the visualisation and sonification of simulated and real gravitational wave detector activity and performance with cello, modular synthesiser and 360deg projection. This project has just started.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Workshop at local schools `When Black Hole Collide?' 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Local science workshop at the University of Birmingham secondary tool. We organised a talk and hand-on activities around the topics of black holes and gravitational waves.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018