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LSU Today Flagship Faculty

Archive
Gabriela Gonzalez

Gabriela González

Professor
Department of Physics and Astronomy

What was your previous position and where?

I started as an assistant professor at Penn State in 1998 and joined LSU in 2001. Before joining Penn State, I was a research scientist at MIT.

What brought you to LSU?

I do most of my research at LIGO, or Laser Interferometric Gravitational-wave Observatory, Observatories and the LIGO Livingston Observatory is only 30 miles away from LSU. There was also an active experimental gravitational group and astrophysics colleagues interested in gravitational waves.

What is your research interest?

My research is on the detection of gravitational waves, an international enterprise that is pioneered in the U.S. and the world with the LIGO detectors. According to Einstein's theory, if general relativity, gravitational waves, or ripples in space time, are produced by violent events in the universe by heavy stars moving at large velocities, such as in the collision of black holes and neutron stars. Although the theory is well accepted and there is strong indirect evidence for the existence of gravitational waves, they have not been directly detected yet. The LIGO Observatories are built to detect these coalescences in the next decade and begin a new era for gravitational wave astronomy. I am an active member of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration and contribute to many aspects of the enterprise.

What do you hope to accomplish at LSU?

I want to be an active contributor to the discovery of gravitational waves and to the many detections that follow.

What do you enjoy most about LSU?

The weather, the food and conversations with my colleagues, not only in my department but in many others.

What are your major accomplishments?

My group of students and postdocs and myself are major contributors to the calibration of the detectors, to the diagnosing and improvement of the data quality and to the search for gravitational waves from coalescing binary systems.

 




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