Researchers from the RIT College of Science and the Center for Computational Relativity and Gravitation congratulated Rainer Weiss, Kip Thorne and Barry Barish for winning the Nobel Prize in Physics for their contributions to the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational waves. Research conducted by RIT scientists was integral to the breakthrough detection of gravitational waves from binary black holes by the LIGO Scientific Collaboration.
A visualization of a binary black hole merger in a gasious environment. Visualization by Mark Van Moer of NCSA, simulation by Stephan d'Ascoli, Dr. Dennis Bowen, Dr. Manuela Campanelli, and Dr. Scott Noble
Comparing the GW170104 signal seen by LIGO (in blue and orange) with computer simulations of black hole mergers (in black). The black circles represent the simulated black holes, scaled in proportion to their masses. Black holes can also spin about an axis, and where a simulated black hole was spinning we show the direction of the north pole with a gray arrow. The longer the arrow, the faster the spin. Interestingly, all of the simulations produce results broadly similar to the detected signal, despite their different configurations.