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Center for Fundamental Theory Center for Theoretical and Observational Cosmology Center for Particle and Gravitational Astrophysics

The Institute for Gravitation and the Cosmos is a multidisciplinary institute of Penn State researchers dedicated to the study of the most fundamental structure and constituents of the Universe.

News and Events

  • The AMON initiative highlighted in the American Institute of Physics Press Release Rise of Multi-Messenger Astrophysics. Full story...
  • An article in the Astronomy magazine on Gravitational Waves by Robert Naeye. See story
  • The 2017 Nobel Prize was awarded to Barry Barish, Kip Thorne and Rainer Weiss "for decisive contributions to the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational waves." Discoveries made by IGC researchers over the past two decades provided substantial groundwork for these observations. More recently, research teams led by Chad Hanna and B. Sathyaprakash played a vital role in the actual detection and subsequent parameter estimation of sources for the events that have been observed over the last two years. For details, please see the following stories:

    Penn State News
    College of Science Research News
    Centre Daily Times
  • Press release highlighting roles of Chad Hanna and B. Sathyaprakash in the announcement of three detectors tracking the gravitational waves emitted by a merger of two black holes. PSU news story.
  • Philipp Eller, postdoctoral scholar in physics and member of IGC, won first prize for his poster "High-statistics and GPU-accelerated Data Analysis" at the 18th International Workshop on Advanced Computing and Analysis Techniques in Physics Research (ACAT 2017) in Seattle. Read full story.
  • Kohta Murase, assistant professor of physics and of astronomy and astrophysics, has been selected as a Sloan Fellow. The Sloan fellowships are awarded to "honor early-career scientists and scholars whose achievements and potential identify them as rising stars, the next generation of scientific leaders." Dr. Murase's research is on theoretical astroparticle physics and interdisciplinary areas among astrophysics, particle physics, and nuclear physics. His particular interest lies in the physics and astrophysics related to cosmic rays, the subatomic particles known as neutrinos, and the properties of dark matter.
  • Miguel Mostafa, Stephane Coutu and the Auger Collaboration have published a paper in Science on their discovery of a large-scale anisotropy in the arrival direction of cosmic rays. Please see the Penn State press release for more information. Article in Science
  • The SpaceX 12 resupply mission to the International Space Center due to launch on Monday, August 14 will carry an ISS-CREAM instrument. This instrument will detect nuclei and electrons in cosmic rays from hundreds of GeV to hundreds of TeV, and mapping out the nuclear elemental energy spectra in unprecedented detail to determine the origins of cosmic rays in the Galaxy, a 100-year old puzzle. Stephane Coutu, professor of physics and member of IGC, and his group built one of the detector elements for the payload, a boronated scintillator detector (adding sensitivity to electrons to the mission). Up-to-date news and a link to live streaming of the launch are available at
  • LIGO press release at Penn State website highlighting Professors B. S. Sathyaprakash and Chad Hanna's key roles in the third detection of gravitational waves - PSU news story.
  • Press releases over the internet with quotes from Professor Sathyaprakash of the Institute for Gravitation and the Cosmos about the third GWave event.
  • Congratulations to the PSU LIGO team led by Bangalore Sathyaprakash and Chad Hanna on detection of the third gravitational wave event. The team includes postdocs Sydney Chamberlin, Anuradha Gupta, Alex Pace, Duncan Meacher and Cody Messick. Full article...
  • A monograph entitled Loop Quantum Gravity: The First 30 Years was published in April 2017 in the series "100 Years of General Relativity." It presents a snapshot of the state of the art of Loop Quantum Gravity from the perspective of younger leading researchers, taking the reader from basics to recent advances, thereby bridging an important gap. It was edited by Abhay Ashtekar and Jorge Pullin.

    For further information, including placing an order, discount, etc., see PDF file.

  • Beatrice Bonga won a Department of Physics award for outstanding teaching. The award ceremony highlighted her numerous contributions to the department and university, including outreach and leadership.
  • Andrea Sylvia Biscoveanu has been awarded the Astronaut Scholarship for the 2016-17 academic year. The Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (ASF) recognizes undergraduate students who excel in STEM disciplines. "Biscoveanu began immersing herself in research as a first-year student, working alongside Miguel Mostafa, associate professor of physics and astronomy and astrophysics, to study ultra-high-energy cosmic waves through the Pierre Auger Collaboration." In summer 2016, Andrea was part of a research team led by Chad Hanna, assistant professor of physics, working with the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO). Read moreā€¦
  • Kohta Murase has been selected as a Sloan Fellow. The Sloan Fellowship "seeks to stimulate fundamental research by early-career scientists and scholars of outstanding promise. These two-year fellowships are awarded to researchers in recognition of distinguished performance and a unique potential to make substantial contributions to their field."
  • NSF funds hybrid supercomputer cluster at Penn State. In addition to Doug Cowen, associate director of IGC, Yuexing Li (PI) is also a member of IGC. For more information on this project, please see

IGC Video

The Institute for Gravitation and the Cosmos (IGC) is dedicated to fostering the highest quality education and research in cosmology, general relativity, gravitational wave astronomy, particle astrophysics, quantum gravity and string theory, focusing on the highest energy phenomena and fundamental issues in the science of the cosmos.

Please take a few minutes to view an informational video on research conducted at IGC.



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