This is the website of the University of Birmingham Gravitational Wave Group, part of the Astrophysics & Space Research Group in the School of Physics and Astronomy.

We are a multi-disciplinary research group that brings together expertise in experimental laser optics, gravitational physics, astrophysics and advanced theoretical and numerical methods to open a new observational window on the Universe by capturing ripples in the fabric of space-time.

News & Events

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News Congratulations & welcome to PhD students old and new 1 November, 2015


Congratulations to PhD students Kat Grover and Will Vousden on who have successfully completed their PhD studies! UPDATE 18 November, 2015: Congratulations to Daniel Brown who has also passed his PhD viva!

While we are celebrating PhD students coming to the end of their studies, we are also pleased to welcome new students. Sam Cooper, Siyuan Chen, Sebastian Gaebel and Alejandro Vigna-Gomez are members of our Gravitational Wave Group.

In other news, we have some new publications (including papers on measuring the properties of supermassive black holes with pulsar timing arrays and intermediate-mass black holes with LIGO and Virgo), see our list of publications and science summaries for details.

News PhD positions announced 16 October, 2015


PhD positions announced

The Birmingham Gravitational Wave Group expects to fill several Ph.D. positions starting in Autumn 2016. We encourage applications to pursue projects in any of the research areas of the group (experiments, astrophysics and observations), working with Prof. Andreas Freise, Dr Ilya Mandel, Dr Haixing Miao, Dr Conor Mow-Lowry, Dr Alberto Sesana, Prof Alberto Vecchio, and Dr John Veitch. Studentships are assigned on a competitive basis within the School of Physics and Astronomy and, where relevant, the University of Birmingham. In addition to studentships funded by research councils, this year additional funding opportunities are available for outstanding candidates through special programs. Please see the jobs page for more details.

News New publications October 5, 2015


Amid all the excitement of Advanced LIGO starting observing, we have recently had several papers published on topics ranging from pulsar timing to the tidal disruption of star around massive black holes. We have updated our list of publications, and to find out more about our papers, you can read our science summaries.

News Astronomy in the City October 1, 2015


This year marks the 100th anniversary of Einstein's general relativity, our best theory of gravity. General relativity is central to much of modern astrophysics, including gravitational-wave astronomy. To celebrate, the Astrophysics & Space Research Group is running a special season of their public Astronomy in the City events. Each evening will feature a themed talk, covering an aspect of general relativity, including the most violent explosions in the Universe, the mysterious dark energy and Nature's biggest black holes. The first is October 14 when Christopher Berry will give an introduction to Einstein's greatest idea. Subsequent events will be November 25, January 27 and March 9.

News Advanced LIGO is observing! September 18, 2015


Gravitational waves: University of Birmingham As of 4 pm this afternoon, Advanced LIGO has begun its first observing run (O1), marking the formal start of the advanced-detector era of gravitational-wave astronomy. The two Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) detectors have been carefully upgraded over the last seven years, to reach greatly enhanced sensitivity. Having gone through several engineering runs, the detectors (located in Hanford, Washington and Livingston, Louisiana) are now collecting data and looking for astrophysical signals. The event rate for such gravitational waves is uncertain, so we will have to wait to see what we will find. After around three months of observing, the detectors will again be taken off-line for further upgrades before the second observing run next year (hopefully joined by Advanced Virgo). Researchers from Birmingham are involved in both developing the Advanced LIGO instruments and in analysing the data collected. We are extremely excited about the discoveries awaiting us!

LIGO is designed and operated by Caltech and MIT, with funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Advanced LIGO is funded by the NSF with significant contributions from international partners, including: in the United Kingdom, the University of Glasgow, the University of Birmingham and Cardiff University funded by the Science and Technology Facilities Council; the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics, the Albert Einstein Institute, the Laser Zentrum Hannover, and the Leibniz Universität Hannover in Germany; an Australian consortium of universities, led by the Australian National University and the University of Adelaide, and supported by the Australian Research Council.

News LIGO Magazine Issue 7 September 10, 2015


News Fellowship opportunities July 15, 2015


News Website update: Publications & science summaries May 26, 2015


News BritGrav 15 April 22, 2015


News Additional PhD position available January 24, 2015


News New Publication January 8, 2015


News Recent Publications and Other News September 6, 2014


News GraWIToN PhD positions April 25, 2014


News Recent Publications April 15, 2014


News Tenured faculty position February 28, 2014


News Recent Publications February 28, 2014


News Recent Publications and Awards October 29, 2013


News PhD positions announced 1 October, 2014


News Promotions and new joiners September 4, 2013


News Recent Publications August 4, 2013


News Awards! July 11, 2013


News Event: Making the Invisible Visible 20 March, 2013


News Postdoctoral position in Gravitational-Wave Astrophysics 1 February, 2012


News Chiara Mingarelli named Very Early Career Woman Physicist Prize runner-up 7 December, 2012


News Parameter Estimation with interpolated waveforms 6 November, 2012


News The LIGO Magazine 12 October, 2012


News Recent Publications 1 October, 2012