The North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves (NANOGrav) collaboration has begun a second Physics Frontiers Center (PFC) grant, funded by the National Science Foundation for $17 million over 5 years. The grant is led by former UWM professor Xavier Siemens (Oregon State University). NANOGrav is a collaboration of U.S. and Canadian astrophysicists, including UWM professors David Kaplan and Sarah Vigeland. They lead a group of students and researchers to find, and understand millisecond pulsars. These pulsars are then used to turn the entire Milky Way galaxy into a gravitational wave detector, which will hopefully identify low-frequency gravitational waves coming from gigantic black holes orbiting each other in the distant universe.
The NANOGrav group at UWM also includes postdoctoral researchers Joe Swiggum, Megan Jones, Tingting Liu and Aaron Johnson, and graduate students Alex McEwen, Siddharth Mohite, Gabriel Freedman, Shashwat Sardesai, Lulu Agazie and Casey McGrath.