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Detecting gravitational waves with Advanced LIGO

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) seeks to detect gravitational waves: ripples in the fabric of spacetime caused by violent astrophysical events such as the coalescence of two stars. The newly upgraded Advanced LIGO detector is expected to begin taking science data in late 2015. At design sensitivity, Advanced LIGO is expected to detect dozens of gravitational wave events every year. The first detections of gravitational waves will be a watershed moment in astronomy, confirming a prediction of general relativity, probing some of the most extreme objects in the Universe, and potentially testing new physics in regimes that are not accessible through other means.

This project is to analyse Advanced LIGO data in order to detect gravitational waves. A number of specific research directions are possible depending on student interests including searches for stochastic backgrounds, searches for persistent point sources, and searches for transients. The project will require engagement in multiple facets of gravitational-wave astronomy: working to understand the behaviour of the detector, analysing Advanced LIGO data, and determining the astrophysical implications of the results. As a bonus, the student working on this project will gain highly marketable expertise with Big Data, statistics, and algorithm development.

Applicants should have a strong background in physics/astronomy data analysis including experience with computer programming. Experience with astrophysics/cosmology is advantageous.

Details of our research group can be found at:

For enquiries please contact Eric Thrane at: .

Interested applicants must meet Monash Universities PhD entry requirements:

Funding Notes

Scholarships are available and cover tuition and health insurance costs (for International candidates) and provide a living stipend of AUD25,849 per year. Exceptional candidates may receive AUD30,000 per year.

Interested applicants must meet Monash Universities PhD entry requirements:
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