Is Einstein’s theory of General Relativity the theory of gravity? Do supermassive black holes merge throughout the history of the Universe. Are black holes really bald? This are the questions we strive to answer.

September 14, 2015 changed the world … at least for gravitational physicist. LIGO detected the first gravitational wave on that day. I remember the feeling when I saw the event that morning, it looked too good to be real, a gravitational wave from the merger of two black holes. It was the first evidence that black holes would merge, and it was beautiful evidence.

As a member of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration, my team and I work to predict and interpret gravitational wave events from back hole mergers like the one pictured above. Below is a movie from Dr. Deborah Ferguson using our numerical relativity code (Maya, ETK) that solves Einstein’s equation to predict the gravitational waves emitted in these cataclysmic events. This particular result predicts the gravitational waves from GW190521.

My team also looks to the future, as gravitational wave detectors become more accurate and reach across new frequency bands. We work with the LISA Consortium and Cosmic Explorer.

A little history

I discovered my old webpage from when I was a graduate student at UT Austin. This proves that we had internet back in the dark ages 😉