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Award Detail

Doing Business As Name:Columbia University
  • Szabolcs Marka
  • (212) 854-8209
Award Date:01/13/2009
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 625,000
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 656,075
  • FY 2010=$141,075
  • FY 2012=$140,000
  • FY 2009=$100,000
  • FY 2013=$150,000
  • FY 2011=$125,000
Start Date:05/01/2009
End Date:04/30/2015
Transaction Type:Grant
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.049
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:CAREER: Multimessenger astronomy through gravitational-waves: a student centered approach
Federal Award ID Number:0847182
DUNS ID:049179401
Parent DUNS ID:049179401
Program Officer:
  • Pedro Marronetti
  • (703) 292-7372

Awardee Location

Street:2960 Broadway
County:New York
Awardee Cong. District:10

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:Columbia University
Street:2960 Broadway
County:New York
Cong. District:10

Abstract at Time of Award

Nearly hundred years after the debut of Einstein's theory of general relativity, gravitational waves are viewed as one of the most intriguing but still elusive astrophysical phenomena. They are expected to be emitted by extreme astrophysical sources such as merging black hole binary systems, spinning neutron stars, gamma-ray bursts or supernovae. Certain aspects of these astrophysical phenomena are detectable in other forms such as gamma-rays, making our scientific endeavor even more promising. However, in order to decipher the detailed inner workings and understand the complete astrophysical process involved in these cataclysmic comic events, their observation through gravitational waves is essential. This award will support active engagement in the quest for the first detection of gravitational waves coincident with gamma-ray burst and neutrino events. The data collected by the global network of gravitational wave detectors, including the Laser Interferometric Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO), will also allow the advance of fundamental science prior to regular detections of cosmic events through gravitational waves by setting astrophysically interesting upper limits to the gravitational waves produced. To increase the repertoire of promising progenitor candidates, the PI and his students will also investigate data analysis techniques related to gravitational waves emitted by eccentric encounters of black hole binary systems. This award will allow the PI to develop an innovative course at Columbia University specifically designed to enhance the critical foundations of students in experimental science. The curriculum is inspired by gravitational wave research and emphasizes real life experience for students in the laboratory. The course will focus on ingenuity and mission critical skills of experimental research; it will closely integrate lectures, experimentation, teamwork, proposal/planning/publication and other related practical skills. Students of all ages (from high school to graduate school) will be offered a diverse educational experience in the forefront of experimental research.

Publications Produced as a Result of this Research

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Bartos I., Haiman Z., Kocsis B., Marka S. "G2 can Illuminate the Black Hole Population near the Galactic Center" Phys. Rev. Lett., v.110, 2013, p.221102. doi:arXiv:1302.3220 

Aartsen et al. "Multimessenger Search for Sources of Gravitational Waves and High-Energy Neutrinos: Results for Initial LIGO-Virgo and IceCube" Phys. Rev. D., v.90, 2014, p.102002.

Bartos I., Dasgupta B., Marka S. "Probing the structure of jet-driven core-collapse supernova and long gamma-ray burst progenitors with high-energy neutrinos" Physical Review D, v.86, 2012, p.083007. doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.86.083007 

Baret B., et al. "Multimessenger science reach and analysis method for common sources of gravitational waves and high-energy neutrinos" Physical Review D, v.85, 2012, p.103004. doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.85.103004 

P. Raffai et al. "Opportunity to test non-Newtonian gravity using interferometric sensors with dynamic gravity field generators" Phys. Rev. D., v.84, 2011, p.. doi:082002 

S. Ballmer, S. Marka, P. Shawhan "Feasibility of measuring the Shapiro time delay over meter-scale distances" Classical and Quantum Gravity, v.27, 2010, p.185018.

I. Bartos, C. Finley, A. Corsi, S. Marka "Observational Constraints on Multimessenger Sources of Gravitational Waves and High-Energy Neutrinos" Phys. Rev.Lett., v.107, 2011, p.251101. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.107.251101 

Raffai P., Gondan L., Heng I. S., Kelecsenyi N., Logue J., Marka Z., Marka S. "Optimal Networks of Future Gravitational-Wave Telescopes" Classical and Quantum Gravity, v.30, 2013, p.155004. doi:arXiv:1301.3939 

Marka S. "Open questions in astrophysically triggered gravitational wave searches" Journal of Physics Conference Series, v.243, 2010, p.. doi:012001 

Ando et al. "Colloquium: Multimessenger astronomy with gravitational waves and high-energy neutrinos" Rev. Mod. Phys., v.85, 2013, p.1401.

Szabolcs Marka "Exploring the birth and death of black holes and other creatures" Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, v.1260, 2012, p.55. doi:10.1111/j.1749-6632.2011.06414.x 

S. Marka "Transient multimessenger astronomy with gravitational waves" Class. Quantum Grav., v.28, 2011, p.114013.

Abbott et al. "Search for gravitational-wave bursts associated with gamma-ray bursts using data from LIGO Science Run 5 and Virgo Science Run 1" The Astrophysical Journal, v.715, 2010, p.1438. doi:arXiv:0908.3824 

Imre Bartos, Peter Veres, Daniel Nieto, Valerie Connaughton, Brian Humensky, Kevin Hurley, Szabolcs Marka, Peter Meszaros, Reshmi Mukherjee, Paul O'Brien, Julian P. Osborne "Cherenkov Telescope Array is Well Suited to Follow Up Gravitational Wave Transients" MNRAS, v.443, 2014, p.738. doi: 

Smith M. W. E., et al. "The Astrophysical Multimessenger Observatory Network (AMON)" Astroparticle Physics, v.45, 2013, p.56. doi:arXiv:1211.5602 

Bartos I., Brady P., Marka S "How Gravitational-wave Observations Can Shape the Gamma-ray Burst Paradigm" Classical and Quantum Gravity, v.30, 2013, p.123001. doi:arXiv:1212.2289 

Bartos I., Beloborodov A., Hurley K., Marka S. "Detection Prospects for GeV Neutrinos from Collisionally Heated Gamma-ray Bursts with IceCube/DeepCore" Phys. Rev. Lett, v.110, 2013, p.241101. doi:arXiv:1301.4232 

Abadie et al. "Search for Gravitational Wave Bursts from Six Magnetars" The Astrophysical Journal Letters, v.734, 2011, p.L35. doi:10.1088/2041-8205/734/2/L35 

Abbott et al. "Stacked Search for Gravitational Waves from the 2006 SGR 1900+14 Storm" Astrophysical Journal, v.701, 2009, p.L68.

Chassande-Mottin E; Hendry M; Sutton P; Marka S. "Multimessenger astronomy with the Einstein Telescope" General Relativity and Gravitation, v.43, 2010, p.437.

Baret B; Bartos I. et al; "Bounding the Time Delay between High-energy Neutrinos and Gravitational-wave Transients from Gamma-ray Bursts" Astroparticle Physics, v.35, 2011, p.1. doi:arXiv:1101.4669v1 

Andersson N., et al. "The transient gravitational-wave sky" Classical and Quantum Gravity, v.30, 2013, p.193002.

Murphy D., Tse M., Raffai P., Bartos I., Khan R., Marka Z., Matone L., Redwine K., Marka S. "Detecting Long-Duration Narrow-Band Gravitational Wave Transients Associated with Soft Gamma Repeater Quasi-Periodic Oscillation" Phys. Rev. D., v.87, 2013, p.103008. doi:arXiv:1302.3915 

P. Kalmus, K.C. Cannon, S. Marka, B. Owen "Stacking Gravitational Wave Signals from Soft Gamma Repeater Bursts" Physical Review D, v.80, 2009, p.042001.

Project Outcomes Report


This Project Outcomes Report for the General Public is displayed verbatim as submitted by the Principal Investigator (PI) for this award. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this Report are those of the PI and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation; NSF has not approved or endorsed its content.

The first direct detection of gravitational waves is on the horizon: the upcoming observational runs of the US-based advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (aLIGO) detectors will provide the unprecedented sensitivity in the coming years that is required for reaching this major goal of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration (LSC).

Beyond the technological breakthrough resulting in highly improved detector performance, innovation in data analysis approach was also required from the international LSC team. Over the past decade the Columbia Experimental Gravity group pioneered multimessenger approaches aimed to uncover information on cosmic processes originating from distant enigmatic sources such as merging compact binaries containing neutron stars and/or black holes using gravitational-wave data. The novelty and impact of the inclusive multimessenger approach is rooted in the integration of complementary information from other astrophysical channels beyond gravitational waves providing multifaceted access to energetic processes such as gamma-ray burst and high-energy neutrino emissions. Solving these emerging cosmic puzzles shall provide the opportunity to learn about the nature of gravity and understand the life, birth and death of cosmic black holes.

Among others, members of the Columbia Experimental Gravity group initiated, opened up, and developed fields and directions in both data analysis and astrophysics as well as contributed to mission critical instrumentation aspects of aLIGO while providing advanced research training for a diverse set of students. The group’s publications had significant involvement from students and/or early career scientists.

Among others the group played a pivotal role in founding the LIGO Scientific Collaboration’s optical follow-up and gamma-ray burst search programs while playing a key role in the development of these dynamic areas of research. The group notably contributed to the literature of neutrino emission and gamma-ray bursts, and published extensively on how gravitational-wave detection will revolutionize our understanding of the gamma-ray burst and other phenomena.

The Columbia Experimental Gravity group conceived and spearheaded the development of multimessenger searches for joint cosmic sources of high-energy neutrinos and gravitational-waves. The detailed work included a broad selection of topics from astrophysics fundamentals to data analysis, including the review of possible joint cosmic sources, the analysis of the time delay between gravitational-waves, high-energy neutrinos and their electromagnetics counterparts, the development of data analysis search methodology and the corresponding data analysis code, establishing the first observational constraints on such joint sources and analyzing existing initial LIGO data. This rich field of research not only resulted in numerous publications in respected journals but also fostered new collaboration between high impact frontier astrophysics experiments of our nation: LIGO on the gravitational-wave side and the IceCube Collaboration on the high-energy neutrino search side.

Enthusiastic work during the summers and academic years on topics inspired by gravitational wave science enabled numerous undergraduate students to establish the critical foundations needed for success in experimental physics and to test methodologies, projects, and communication skills that are best taught through creative experimental courses. Mission critical skills developed at Columbia University and in many cases also at the LIGO sites empowered and inspired our students to stay within physics and continue their quest for science in prestigious schools aiming for impactful careers both in translational and fundamental research.

Over the years th...

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