UW and UWB at the American Physics Society’s Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics

Students and faculty from both UW and UWB took a trip down to Oregon this past weekend to attend the American Physics Society’s 2018 Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics. The APS CUWiP is an annual event gathering together female students and faculty from institutions across the country to present research, network, and share knowledge. As you can see, the UW students were not at all shy about repping their home campus at the event, and in fact UW will be hosting the gathering next year!

For more info on the event, click here.

2017 Nobel Prize for LIGO Founding Fathers

Drs. Rainer Weiss, Kip Thorne, and Barry Barish have been awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics for leading the LIGO Scientific Collaboration’s discovery of gravitational waves! 

This thrilling award honors over 40 years of work by these three individuals that has led to the pioneering of gravitational wave astronomy, a new field of science. Thanks to the leadership of Dr. Weiss, Dr. Thorne, and Dr. Barish, LIGO and the LSC have proved Einstein’s theory of relativity, measured previously unknowable anomalies with cutting-edge detectors, and gained an entirely new understanding of the workings of the universe.

For all the exciting details, including more information on the three recipients and the history of the LIGO-Virgo project, click here for the New York Times article on the award. And for info straight from the official website of the Nobel Prize, click here.

Congratulations to these distinguished recipients!

Dr. Key Senior Participant in Kavli Summer Program in Astrophysics

Dr. Key is one of a distinguished ensemble of scientists attending the Kavli Summer Program in Astrophysics as a senior participant in Copenhagen this summer. The annual program is organized by UC Santa Cruz and “brings together scientists with a wide breadth of technical skills and research interests to solve topical outstanding problems in astrophysics,” according to the program’s website. This year the focus of the event is gravitational wave astronomy and its scientific ramifications, so we can expect a good amount of problem-solving and question-answering to take place before the conclusion of the program on August 18th. More information on KSPA and this year’s projects can be found here!

GW-Seeking LISA Selected as European Space Agency’s Next Mission

As of June 20th, the European Space Agency has officially selected LISA as the third large-class mission in its Science program.

LISA (Laser Interferometer Space Antenna) is a trio of satellites painstakingly designed to detect gravitational waves from deep space. LISA utilizes the same basic technology as ground-based LIGO and other detectors, but from its position away from earthly noise contaminants LISA will allow us to “hear” farther into space than ever before.

The LISA Pathfinder mission, which served as a proof-of-concept for some of the advanced technologies that LISA itself will require, will shortly complete its mission, and not long afterwards preparations for LISA will begin in earnest. There’s a long road ahead, though – LISA is not expected to launch until 2034. Still, this is a major event for the field of gravitational wave astronomy. Only 17 years to go…

Congratulations to the First Official UWB Physics Graduates!

Josh Christensen and Holly Gummelt — both members of this year’s graduating class — have the distinction of being the first UW Bothell students to graduate with a major in Physics. Austen Harp and Duncan McKinnon (not pictured) graduated alongside them with one of the first Physics minors. The three of them are pictured here at their graduation ceremony. Congratulations to Josh, Holly, Austen, Duncan, and all the other graduates of the class of 2017!

Click here to read more about the Physics major, as well as other new UWB degrees.


The LIGO-Virgo collaboration announced today that a third gravitational wave signal (GW170104) was detected on January 4th, 2017, adding to the project’s two previous history-making discoveries of last year! This signal, like the two before it, was the result of a pair of black holes colliding and merging at a staggering distance of 3 billion light-years away. “LIGO is opening up a new way to explore our universe, including populations of elusive black holes,” Dr.Key said (as quoted in a news release from UW Bothell). “This is a significant discovery of a new black hole collision, adding to our map of black hole systems and utilizing the increased sensitivity of the LIGO detectors.”

This exciting discovery was officially announced to the world in a paper published in Physical Review Letters, which can be accessed here

For more information on GW170104 and its implications for the future of astronomy, click here to view the official LIGO press release on the subject. For more on the GWA group’s involvement, click here for UW Bothell’s news release.

Student Leadership Awards for JoJo and Holly

Jojo Perkins and Holly Gummelt have both been recognized as Student Leaders of the Year at UW Bothell! “Each year, the Student Leadership Awards recognize UW Bothell students who have made positive contributions to the campus and its surrounding communities,” according to the UW Bothell Division of Student Affairs. The recognition ceremony will be held June 2nd at 6pm, in Mobius Hall. More information about the award is available here. Congratulations to these two very deserving recipients!