Northwestern University astrophysicist Vicky Kalogera will be one of the experts in attendance as the National Science Foundation brings together scientists from Caltech, MIT, and the LIGO Scientific Collaboration (LSC) at 10:30 a.m. EST (15:30 UTC/GMT) this Thursday, Feb. 11, at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., 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).

Kalogera, a member of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration for more than 15 years and LIGO’s most senior astrophysicist, will be at the news conference and will be available for comment after the update. She is the Erastus O. Haven Professor of physics and astronomy at Northwestern and director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration and Research in Astrophysics (CIERA).

Shane Larson, a research associate professor of physics and astronomy at Northwestern and a CIERA member, also will be available for comment. He has been involved with LIGO for five years and with the gravitational-wave community for more than a decade. Larson also is an astronomer at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago.

Megan Fellman
+1 847-491-3115

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 its ongoing efforts to observe gravitational waves.

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 U.S. and international partners. The twin detectors are located in Livingston, Louisiana, and Hanford, Washington. Research and analysis of data from the detectors is carried out by a global group of scientists, including the LSC, which includes the GEO600 Collaboration, and the VIRGO Collaboration.

Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016
10:30 am US EST (7:30 am US PST, 15:30 UTC/GMT)

The National Press Club
Holeman Lounge
529 14th Street NW, 13th Floor
Washington, DC 20045

Media RSVP:
Due to seating constraints, journalists interested in attending the status report should RSVP to any of the media contacts listed below. A mult box will be available for broadcast media, and the National Press Club is equipped with wireless access.

Live Webcast:
For press not based in the Washington, D.C., area, this event will be simulcast live online, and some questions may be taken remotely. For details about how to participate remotely, please contact anyone listed below.

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];

Additional background about the project:
LIGO Lab: (Observatories: Livingston ​&​ Hanford)
Advanced LIGO:
LIGO Scientific Collaboration:
LIGO Partner Experiments and Collaborations: