Data analysis for gravitational wave detectors

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

Abstract

Data analysis for gravitational wave detectors

Publications

10 25 50

Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
ST/N504075/1 01/10/2015 30/09/2020
1654298 Studentship ST/N504075/1 01/10/2015 31/03/2019 Daniel Williams
 
Title Manchester Science Festival - Experimental Words 
Description A poem, written in collaboration with professional poet, performed during an evening of "science and poetry" at Manchester Science Festival. 
Type Of Art Performance (Music, Dance, Drama, etc) 
Year Produced 2018 
Impact Agreement to potentially continue collaboration with poet in future; asked a number of questions by audience members at event. 
URL https://www.manchestersciencefestival.com/event/experimental-words-2018/
 
Description LIGO Scientific Collaboration 
Organisation GEO collaboration
Country Global 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution I work principally on developments in data analysis techniques---and testing the sensitivity of those techniques---for extracting gravitational wave signals from noisy detector data. I have also spent time at the LIGO Livingston observatory developing software to assist with detector characterisation activities, to assist with the identification and mitigation of noise sources.
Collaborator Contribution The LSC hold a large number of regular telecons at which the research being conducted across the collaboration is discussed. This has lead to the refinement of a number of ideas, as well as making collaboration substantially easier. Membership of the LSC also affords access to the data from the advanced LIGO detectors, which allowed the opportunity to work on data prior to detection announcements.
Impact To complete
Start Year 2015
 
Description LIGO Scientific Collaboration 
Organisation LIGO Scientific Collaboration
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I work principally on developments in data analysis techniques---and testing the sensitivity of those techniques---for extracting gravitational wave signals from noisy detector data. I have also spent time at the LIGO Livingston observatory developing software to assist with detector characterisation activities, to assist with the identification and mitigation of noise sources.
Collaborator Contribution The LSC hold a large number of regular telecons at which the research being conducted across the collaboration is discussed. This has lead to the refinement of a number of ideas, as well as making collaboration substantially easier. Membership of the LSC also affords access to the data from the advanced LIGO detectors, which allowed the opportunity to work on data prior to detection announcements.
Impact To complete
Start Year 2015
 
Title Minke 
Description This software is licensed under the ISC License: https://github.com/transientlunatic/minke/blob/master/LICENSE. Minke is a tool for generating Mock Data Challenge (MDC) data sets for gravitational wave burst searches. These MDC data are used to test the sensitivity of the various data analysis "pipelines" which are used to extract gravitational wave signals from the noisy data which are produced by interferometric detectors. MDCs are essential to providing astrophysical insights as well as testing software, as knowledge of the sensitivity limits of analyses allows upper and lower limits to be placed on the rates of astrophysical events we expect to observe as burst sources. 
Type Of Technology Software 
Year Produced 2016 
Open Source License? Yes  
Impact This software has been used to produce the MDC sets for a number of publications, including the burst-search analysis of the first observing run data from advanced LIGO. 
URL http://www.code.daniel-williams.co.uk/minke/
 
Description 7 Minutes of Science 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact Seven minutes of science is an evening-long event in which early-career researchers give short (7-minute long) talks about their research. There were around 125 members of the public and the university in attendance, many of whom had no science background. My talk prompted a large number of questions, both within the formal question and answer section, and afterwards, and a number of requests for further information about Gravitational Wave research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://twitter.com/7minutescience?lang=en
 
Description A Forum on Gravitational Waves at St Marys 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact This was a mixed talk and discussion about the then-recent announcement of the discovery of gravitational waves to the congregation of St Mary's Episcopal Cathedral, Glasgow. There were around 70 people in attendance, and afterwards a number of requests were made for more information about the research, and the general gravitational wave research occurring in Glasgow.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://thecathedral.org.uk/2016/02/forum-gravitational-waves-daniel-williams/
 
Description AOTF Troon 
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 given to a local astronomy club in Troon, Ayrshire, to an audience of around 30, and a Q&A session afterwards. A brief write-up of the event was included in a local newspaper. The talk lead to a request to provide an article for the society's magazine.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.actascio.org/aotfclub.asp
 
Description Astronomical Society of Glasgow 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact I gave a talk to the Astronomical Society of Glasgow - an amateur astronomy club - about the history of gravitational wave astronomy, and recent developments. There were around 40 people in the audience, with ages ranging from 14 upwards. A number of the audience members were retired scientists (from non astronomy fields), and the discussion at the end of the talk was interesting, and a number of insightful questions were asked.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Black Hole Hunters -- Glasgow Science Festival 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact I was involved in a panel discussion about gravitational wave detection and data analysis during the "Black Hole Hunters" event at Glasgow Science Festival.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Chasing the Waves 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Chasing the Waves is an STFC-funded musical-theatre production which was developed for the Glasgow Science Festival. I was involved in panel discussions at the end of each show, for an "ask the scientists" dialogue, answering questions from the audience on issues touched upon during the production, but also general questions about science, and being a scientist.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016,2017
URL https://www.gla.ac.uk/events/sciencefestival/eventsandprojects/projects/chasingthewaves/
 
Description European Researchers' Night / Glasgow Explorathon 
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 The Institute for Gravitational Research ran a stand at the European Researchers' Night event in Glasgow Science Centre, with demonstrations about gravitational waves and GW detectors. As a group we spoke to several hundred people throughout the evening, most of whom were adults. A significant number of high-school science teachers attended, and asked for more details both about how our demonstrations worked (and could be replicated), and for more information about including gravitational waves in their teaching.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Gravitational Wave Detection Infographics 
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 This project involved the production of "infographics" to communicate the important results of the detection of gravitational waves from the first two advanced LIGO observing runs. A total of five graphics resulted, which were each used as a component of the LIGO social media posts for each event, and in the case of GW170817, the graphic was included in the LSC press pack which was distributed to journalists. The reach of the material on Twitter was international - most considerably for GW170817 thanks to its translation into more than 20 languages, and the graphic was included in articles about the event internationally, making the total audience size rather difficult to estimate.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016,2017
URL https://dcc.ligo.org/DocDB/0144/G1701538/003/find_factsheets_and_infographics.html
 
Description I'm a Scientist, Get Me Out of Here : Gravity Zone 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact I'm a Scientist, Get me out of here is a nationally-run schools engagement program, in which pupils at participating schools are given the chance to have live web chats with researchers about a given field of science (in this case research into gravity), and also to leave questions on a website, which can then be answered over a two-week period. The questions ranged from queries about gravity and astronomy (e.g. "what is a black hole") to questions about what it's like to work as a scientist. The event is intended to provide pupils with an accurate image of who scientists are, as well as allowing them to interact directly with people involved in research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://gravityn17.imascientist.org.uk/
 
Description Informal Workshop on Encounters between Black Holes, and Gravitational Wave Bursts -- KASI 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This workshop, on the detection of gravitational wave transients from hyperbolic and eccentric black hole encounters, held at the Korean Astronomy and Space Science Institute in Daejeon, South Korea, established a dialogue between researchers from Switzerland, the UK, South Korea, and India, on the production of waveform data and the testing of these in modern gravitational wave transient searches.
The meeting has led to an ongoing collaboration.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description IoP Festival of Physics 
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 Festival of Physics was a two-day Institute of Physics event held in George Watsons College, Edinburgh, aiming to produce a fun and interesting environment where members of the public could learn about cutting-edge physics research in Scotland. The Institute for Gravitational Research ran a stand at this event, which involved talking to people in greater detail about the work the IGR does. The audience ranged from pre-school age children to grandparents. Members of the audience who had never heard about the research we did, or who were unaware that research of this kind occurred in Scotland asked for more information, while a number of teachers attended the event, and reported that they were interested in incorporating gravitational waves into their teaching. Around 1200 people attended the event over the two days, however I was only involved for one of the two days.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.ph.ed.ac.uk/events/2017/76841-festival-of-physics
 
Description Manchester Science Festival -- Experimental Words 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact I worked with a poet over a number of weeks to produce a gravitational-wave inspired poem, which was performed during this event at the Manchester Science Festival.
Around 60 members of the general public.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.manchestersciencefestival.com/event/experimental-words-2018/
 
Description Meet the Black Hole Hunters 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Meet the Black Hole Hunters was a question-and-answer event during Glasgow Science festival, which I was involved with through a Skype connection while I was visiting the LIGO site in Louisiana. I was able to answer questions about the detector, and give a video tour of the control room.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.gla.ac.uk/events/sciencefestival/eventsandprojects/glasgowsciencefestival2017/adult/head...
 
Description PubhD (Glasgow) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact This was a short (~20 minute) talk given as part of an evening of short outreach talks by a handful of graduate students from universities in the city of Glasgow. The event was held in a pub, and was intended to draw an audience of the general public, and that talks should be relaxed and fairly non-technical.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://pubhdglasgow.wordpress.com/2016/07/05/glasgow-pubhd-is-off-with-a-bang/
 
Description PubhD (Nottingham) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact This was a short (~20 minute) talk given as part of an evening of short outreach talks by a handful of astronomers attending the 2016 National Astronomy Meeting in Nottingham. The event was held in a pub, and was intended to draw an audience of the general public, and that talks should be relaxed and fairly non-technical. The audience seemed to be well-engaged, and asked a number of interesting an insightful questions.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www.leftlion.co.uk/read/2016/july/pubhd-28-astronomy-special-8428
 
Description RSE-MOST Meeting 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Around 20 academics and members of MOST, the Taiwanese science funding council, and a similar number of Scottish participants were involved in discussions and knowledge exchange related to the use of machine learning and GPU programming in gravitational wave detection.

Discussions were positive, and lead to the agreement to have both a future meeting, and to establish communication channels in the interim.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.rse.org.uk/event/rse-most-research-workshop-gravitational-waves__trashed/
 
Description Sonoma State University Panel Discussion 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact I was a member of a panel discussion on gravitational wave detection at Sonoma State University, California, USA.
This event was arranged to coincide with the LIGO Scientific Collaboration meeting being held at SSU.
The audience were members of the general public.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Space and Scotland Article 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Following a talk given to an astronomy club I was asked to provide a short article for the club's magazine, which is distributed around Scotland, and is focused on the space industry in Scotland. The article is an overview of the current status of gravitational research, with a focus on the work being carried-out in Scotland.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://indd.adobe.com/view/7c0d5808-7688-40c7-bcd0-04087f70e943
 
Description TedX Glasgow : A Disruptive World 
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 The Institute for Gravitational Research ran a joint outreach stall with a local maker-space, highlighting the disruptive nature of gravitational wave research within physics, and of technologies such as 3d-printing on industry. The event involved chatting with the audience members about our group's research, about the detection of gravitational research, and about industrial spin-offs from research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.tedxglasgow.com/2016/
 
Description The Universe is Full of Noises -- IAA Belfast 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Invited talk on gravitational waves given to the Irish Astronomical Society in Belfast.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description UoE Astronomy Club 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact I gave a talk to the University of Edinburgh Astronomy club, with the audience consisting of ~50 undergraduate students. The talk prompted a number of interesting questions both about how to become involved in study in the field, and also about relationships between gravitational wave research and particle physics.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description theGIST Article 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact I was invited to submit a revised version of an article I had written for our College of Science and Engineering's science writing competition for inclusion in The GIST, a joint science publication from the Universities of Glasgow and Strathclyde in Glasgow. The article is available on the magazine's website.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://the-gist.org/2016/09/a-new-dawn/