Media Advisory

Scientists to provide update on search for gravitational waves

UF physics dept. to hold news conference immediately after


100 years after Einstein predicted the existence of gravitational waves, the National Science Foundation gathers scientists from Caltech, MIT and the LIGO Scientific Collaboration to update the scientific community on efforts to detect them. 


Journalists and community members are invited to join the University of Florida physics department for a livestreaming as the National Science Foundation brings together scientists from Caltech, MIT and the LIGO Scientific Collaboration this Thursday at 10:30 a.m. EST at the National Press Club for a status report on the effort to detect gravitational waves – or ripples in the fabric of spacetime – using the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO).

A news conference with University of Florida LIGO team members will begin at 11:30 a.m. UF has been an essential partner with scientists around the world in building the LIGO detectors and in analysis of data from them since 1996.  The 10:30 news conference in Washington will be livestreamed in the physics building lobby and conference room.


Thursday, Feb. 11

10:30 a.m. (livestreaming of Washington news conference) 11:30 a.m. (UF news conference)


New Physics Building, University of Florida, Room 2205

2001 Museum Road


This year marks the 100th anniversary of the first publication of Albert Einstein’s prediction of the existence of gravitational waves. With interest in this topic piqued by the centennial, the group will discuss their ongoing efforts to observe and measure cosmic gravitational waves for scientific research.

LIGO, a system of two identical detectors carefully constructed to detect incredibly tiny vibrations from passing gravitational waves, was conceived and built by MIT and Caltech researchers and funded by the National Science Foundation, with significant contributions from other US and international partners. The twin detectors are located 1,865 miles apart in Livingston, Louisiana, and Hanford, Washington.

For additional background about the project, you may be interested in these websites:



For press not based in the Washington, D.C. area, this event will be simulcast live online, and we will try to answer some questions submitted remotely. For details about how to participate remotely, please contact anyone listed below.


UF/ Steve Orlando, (352) 846-3903, (352) 215-4232;
Caltech/Kathy Svitil, (626) 395-8022;
MIT/Kimberly Allen, (617) 253-2702 or (617) 852-6094 [m];
NSF/Ivy Kupec, (703) 292-8796 or (703) 225-8216 [m];