On June 13-17, 2016, I had the privilege of lecturing on gravitational waves at
the 2016 Summer School of Cosmology
of the International Center for Theoretical Physics in Trieste, Italy.
I met dozens of smart, enthusiastic students from all over the world,
and I had a chance to re-learn the foundations of my very own subject.
I short, I had a ball.
I'm happy to report that the Astrophysical Journal just published a letter authored by our JPL/Caltech pulsar-timing group, in which we discuss how soon gravitational waves from the cosmic population of supermassive black holes could be detected by radio telescopes. We conclude that, notwithstanding recent negative results from the Parkes Pulsar Timing Array, we expect to have clear and convincing evidence of low-frequency gravitational waves within the next decade.
Our article was featured on the JPL homepage and in a NASA press release, and it was discussed in a Gizmodo article by Jennifer Ouellette.
In the 100th anniversary year of Einstein's prediction of gravitational waves,
after a 50-year-long experimental pursuing, and after spending most of my scientific career devoting my personal effort to gravitational-wave science, I'm proud to join my voice to the chorus announcing and celebrating the first detection of gravitational waves from a binary system with LIGO.
I'm sure I will have more to say about this personally, but for the moment see LIGO's coverage, all the scientific papers, and the excellent articles in the New York Times and in the New Yorker.
I have been a member of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration since 2001, and it has been a privilege to witness (and help, if only modestly) the incredible improvement of the experiment, the growth of its community, and the exhilarating last few months of feverish work, culminating in today's announcement.
Update: I'm commenting on this news in Parma's Gazzetta, on Wired.com, and on the public radio show Blue Dot. A few months later, on Parma Repubblica.