OzGrav Makes Waves With $35M To Understand the Universe
The Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Gravitational Wave Discovery (OzGrav) at Swinburne has been awarded an extra $35 million in funding to proceed their ground-breaking discoveries on the chopping fringe of human understanding.
The new funding will help OzGrav’s work investigating the elemental nature of relativistic gravity, ultra-dense matter, and the universe, producing crucial discoveries to cement Australia’s management position within the rising subject of gravitational wave science.
Centre Director Professor Matthew Bailes says the funding is not going to solely enable OzGrav make to landmark discoveries concerning the nature of our universe, but in addition lay the foundations for the Australian mega-science devices that would rework physics within the 2030s and 2040s.
“When OzGrav launched in 2017, we contributed to the birth of a new era of astrophysics. This reinvestment will put us at the forefront of transformational scientific discoveries well into the next decade,” Professor Bailes says.
“The opportunity to attract and work with the talented young scientists and engineers this Centre will attract is incredibly energizing.
“By improving our advanced gravitational wave detectors, we will be able to understand more about our universe, probing neutron stars and black holes and mapping the cosmic evolution of the universe.”
Turning Einstein’s creativeness into actuality
Gravitational waves, first predicted by Albert Einstein in 1915 in his principle of basic relativity, went undetected for 100 years earlier than scientific developments enabled their detection for the primary time in 2015.
Since then, OzGrav researchers have been on the forefront of gravitational wave discovery, making important discoveries to assist perceive the intense physics of black holes and warped spacetime.
“As a technology-focused university with deep expertise in astronomy, physics and space research, Swinburne is proud to continue to be the home of this global collaboration,” says Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research Professor Karen Hapgood.
“Under the directorship of Professor Matthew Bailes, OzGrav has made a number of field-defining contributions to our understanding of the universe.
“By building closer relationships with industry and through our leading space education programs, we look forward to expanding this impact and inspiring the next generation of graduates in Australia’s high-tech workforce.”
The new funding from the Australian Research Council will allow OzGrav to maximise the sensitivity and yield of gravitational wave detectors, suppressing quantum noise and decreasing coating losses. This is predicted to extend detection charges by over an order of magnitude. This will allow:
- The discovery of recent sources of gravitational waves and extreme electromagnetic events
- Testing the boundaries of Einstein’s theory of general relativity in the strongest gravitational fields in the universe, using black holes and pulsars
- Understanding ultra-dense matter through the observation of neutron stars and their mergers
- Mapping the cosmic evolution of the universe using gravitational waves and fast radio bursts
OzGrav is also committed to strengthening equity and diversity in this sector and increasing participation and career options for under-represented groups in STEM. Through school outreach, the Centre also aims to inspire the next generation to pursue a career in STEM, especially at an age when many young women and under-represented groups choose to not take STEM subjects.
Headquartered at Swinburne University of Technology, OzGrav is a collaboration between a number of Australian universities, including the University of Queensland, The Australian National University, The University of Sydney, Monash University, The University of Adelaide, The University of Western Australia and The University of Melbourne, and CSIRO.
Other international partners include the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory in the United States, as well as institutions in the US, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, and the UK.