Gabriela Gonzalez

Louisiana State University


Election Year: 2017
Primary Section: 13, Physics
Secondary Section: 12, Astronomy
Membership Type: Member

Biosketch

Gabriela González is a physicist working on the discovery of gravitational waves with the LIGO team. She was born in Córdoba, Argentina, studied physics at the University of Córdoba, and pursued her Ph.D. in Syracuse University, obtained in 1995. She worked as a staff scientist in the LIGO group at MIT until 1997, when she joined the faculty at Penn State. In 2001 she joined the faculty at Louisiana State University, where she is a professor of physics and astronomy. She has been a member of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration since it was funded in 1997, served as the elected LSC spokesperson in 2011-2017, and is known for participating in the announcement of the discovery of gravitational waves in 2016. She has received awards from the American Physical Society, the American Astronomical Society and the National Academy of Sciences, and is a member of the Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences.

Research Interests

Gabriela González’ group at LSU, funded by the National Science Foundation, works on the data calibration and characterization for the LIGO detectors in Livingston, LA and Hanford, WA, as well as on developing experimental techniques for diagnosing and improving the sensitivity of the detectors. Gravitational waves were first observed by the Advanced LIGO detectors in September 2015, produced by the merging of two black holes more than a billion years ago. Since then, a few other signals produced by similar systems have been detected. Improving the sensitivity of the LIGO detectors is critical to be able to observe signals that were originated farther away, to increase the rate of the observations, and to observe gravitational waves from new phenomena like the merger of neutron stars.

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