Welcome to the Exciting World
of Gravitational Waves!
Gravitational waves are ‘ripples’ in space-time caused by some of the most violent and energetic processes in the Universe. Predicted more than a century ago by Albert Einstein, gravitational waves are bringing new information on events like the merging of black holes or neutron stars.
Here you can find all the information you need to understand the phenomenon, and to help the researchers at VIRGO to better detect these unique events!
The detection of Gravitational Waves is a challenging endeavor. Scientists have overcome a lot of obstacles, but they need your help. Background noise is affecting the sensitivity of Gravitational Waves detectors and therefore interfering with their ability to detect real astrophysical data. As you realize it is crucial to understand the origin of this noise and eliminate it.
Become a Noise Hunter!
REINFORCE team developed a project on Zooniverse called GWitchHunters to enable citizens to classify this noise in a user-friendly environment. You – as part of our research team and as a citizen scientist – will work with actual scientific data from VIRGO and LIGO Gravitational Waves detectors and contribute to their improvement and the scientists’ efforts to unravel the secrets of the Universe. Your classifications will serve as a basis to train machine learning algorithms that will automatically recognize and isolate noise in the Gravitational Waves data.
If you want to learn more about the different topics behind Gravitational Wave Noise Hunting in a nutshell, here are some interesting videos for you to watch:
Gravitational Waves Explained
Warped Space and Time around colliding black holes
How do we detect Gravitational Waves
How does advanced Virgo detector work?
Inside the Virgo Gravitational Wave Detector
Nobel Prize 2017 Winner Rainer Weiss explains why Einstein was right:
The moment of truth: Physicists announce the discovery of Gravitational Waves
Learn about the LIGO detectors in USA here:
You don’t know what to do? Don’t worry! There is a detailed step-by-step tutorial for every stage of GWitchHunters Zooniverse project which pops up after you click on the level you want. The tutorial remains available on the right side of your screen at all times.
This Project is organized in increasing order of difficulty. We suggest starting in the Playground to get familiar with our data and practice with some basic “noise hunting”, then progress to the next levels in ascending order of difficulty. At each level, you will discover new challenging tasks. And, if it is not enough for you, we have some special challenges that you can take on your mobile device via the Zooniverse app!
Here you can watch again the dedicated webinar produced by the REINFORCE team regarding Gravitational Wave Noise Hunting
How to help scientists in the Gravitational Wave noise hunt
The webinar, held on the 16th of October, aimed to give an overview of the REINFORCE Gravitational Wave Noise Hunting Demonstrator, showcasing the role that citizens can play in helping detect glitches compromising the sensitivity of Gravitational Waves detectors.
You will learn:
- How citizens can play an active role in the advance of ground-breaking research
- How REINFORCE demonstrator about Gravitational Wave Noise Hunting will be developed
- How the project will work to include diverse and underrepresented groups in science
Juliia Casanueva (Virgo)
Francesca Spagnuolo (EGO, EU Program Coordinator)
Emmanuel Chaniotakis (Ellinogermaniki Agogi)
Presentations of the Webinar can be found here:
Here you can find educational resources and activities for Gravitational Waves that can help you to introduce this topic to your students.