Revolutionary grassroots astrophysics project Einstein@Home goes live
Distributed computing project to search for gravitational waves.
A new grassroots computing project dubbed Einstein@Home, which will let anyone with a personal computer contribute to cutting edge astrophysics research, will be officially announced at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Washington DC on Saturday, February 19. LIGO Laboratory Director Barry Barish of Caltech and Einstein@Home Principal Investigator Bruce Allen of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee will make the announcement during a press briefing at the Wardman Park hotel in DC at 11AM.
Einstein@Home is a flagship program of the World Year of Physics 2005 celebration of the centennial of Albert Einsteins miraculous year. The program searches for gravitational waves in data collected by US and European gravitational wave detectors.
Albert Einsteins General Theory of Relativity predicted the existence of gravitational waves in 1916, but only now has technology reached the point that scientists hope to detect them directly. Gravitational waves are ripples in the fabric of space and time produced by violent events in the universe such as black hole collisions and exploding stars (supernovae). Longer-lived sources of gravitational waves include rapidly rotating compact stars, and binary systems composed of two orbiting stars. The ripples travel through space, carrying information both about their source and about the nature of gravity itself.
Einstein@Home searches data from the US Laser Interferometer Gravitational wave Observatory (LIGO) and the British/German GEO-600 gravitational wave observatory for signals coming from very dense, rapidly rotating compact quark and neutron stars. Einsteins theory predicts that if these compact stars are not perfectly spherical, they should continuously emit gravitational waves. LIGO and GEO-600 are now sufficiently sensitive that they might detect these signals if the stars are close enough to earth.
Finding such signals in gravitational wave data requires an enormous amount of computing power. Estimates indicate that searching gravitational data with the maximum possible sensitivity would require many times the computing capacity of even the most powerful supercomputer. Therefore, LIGO Scientific Collaboration researchers from the Albert Einstein Institute, UWM, and the LIGO Laboratory are enlisting the aid of an army of home computer users to analyze the data. Much like the popular SETI@Home project that searches radio telescope data for signs of extraterrestrial life, Einstein@Home will involve hundreds of thousands people who will dedicate a portion of their personal computers computational time to the project.
The Einstein@Home program is available for PCs running Windows, Linux, and Mac operating systems. When the computer is not in use, it downloads LIGO and GEO600 data from a central server and searches it for gravitational wave signals. While running, it displays a screensaver that depicts the celestial sphere, with the major constellations outlined. A moving marker indicates the portion of the sky currently being searched on the computer.
James Riordon | EurekAlert!
The most recent press releases about innovation >>>
Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water
In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...
The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...