The latest research from the NANOGrav project has discovered evidence of low-frequency gravitational waves. And two students from Bend were among those that made the find.
The evidence comes from a collaboration led by Oregon State University, that includes researchers across 18 North American universities.
Bend native Magnus L’Argent was one of the OSU students on the cutting edge.
“What we’re trying to do is use these really cool objects in space called pulsars and use them to detect nano hertz frequency gravitational waves,” he said. “We’re able to use that as evidence for gravitational wave detection.”
L’Argent has spent the last few years studying Pulsars, rapidly spinning remnants of massive stars, measuring these low-frequency waves.
“I was looking at radio signals and trying to figure out if these radio signals were possibly coming from pulsars,” he said. “The more pulsars we have available, the more sensitive our pulsar timing rate is.”
The research shows that our universe behaves like a wobbling bowl of Jell-O, with gravitational waves causing ripples and vibrations.
Scientists now have a clearer understanding of how massive structure, like merging super-massive black holes, interact.
Project leaders say this advancement is only the beginning of work in this field.
“This is a really cool example of how modern science is definitely all about collaboration and large teams of people,” he said. “And I’m just really appreciative to have been a really small part of it in my own way.”
L’Argent and Phia Morton were the two Bend-based OSU students who contributed to the project.