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The most massive black hole merger detected

An international team of researchers, including scientists with the University of British Columbia’s gravitational wave astrophysics group, has detected a signal from the most massive black hole merger yet observed. The discovery, outlined in papers published today in Physical Review Letters and The Astrophysical Journal, raises a slew of new questions about the nature of […]

No mountains detected yet on millisecond pulsars

A recently released pre-print by the LIGO Scientific Collaboration and Virgo Collaboration reports the most sensitive test yet of the ellipticity of millisecond pulsars. Researchers in the gravitational-wave astrophysics group at UBC played a key role in new results for five known pulsars using data from the most recent LIGO and Virgo observing run. “This […]

Discovery of the heaviest neutron star, or lightest black hole, ever observed

An international team of astrophysicists, including researchers at UBC, have detected the ‘extremely loud’ merger of a black hole with a mystery compact object—the most asymmetric gravitational-wave source yet observed. GW190814, the merger of a heavy black hole with an unidentified compact object about nine times smaller, was reported today in Astrophysical Journal Letters. When […]

UBC gravitational wave astrophysics group participates in the #Strike4BlackLives

The UBC gravitational wave astrophysics group joins the American Physical Society, the AAAS, the LIGO Scientific Collaboration, the journals Science and Nature, and the arXiv in participating in the strike organized on June 10, 2020. Patrick Brady, the LIGO Scientific Collaboration spokesperson, said of the strike: It’s a call to set aside our usual scholarly […]

UBC GW astrophysics group research continues remotely

The UBC gravitational-wave astrophysics group has been researching remotely since March 16, 2020. Zoom and slack have been invaluable tools to keep us connected with each other and with our colleagues in the LIGO Scientific Collaboration, as well as Virgo and KAGRA. Robert Beda, a UBC student studying Mathematical Physics, has remotely joined the group […]

LIGO-Virgo ends third observing run early

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, LIGO and Virgo decided to suspend their third observing run (O3) roughly a month ahead of schedule. The observing run will end on March 27th instead of the original planned end date, April 30, 2020. From a statement released by the LIGO Laboratory on In spite of the early […]

Detector characterization at LIGO Livingston

Group members Jess McIver, Evan Goetz, and student Katie Rink visited the LIGO-Livingston detector in Livingston, Louisiana for the LIGO Detector Characterization meeting and noise sprint in January 2020. Jess led the meeting, which focused on plans for LIGO detector noise studies and supporting validation of  event candidates in the remainder of the current LIGO-Virgo […]

Harmonics in gravitational wave signals observed from collision of black holes for the first time

Astrophysicists including a team at UBC have observed gravitational waves from the collision of two black holes with distinctly different masses, dubbed GW190412. This discovery gives us a glimpse of subtle harmonics in gravitational wave signals for the first time. These harmonics not only allow improved tests of Einstein’s theory of general relativity, they also allow […]