For most of human history our only information about the Universe came from visible light. Later we learned to detect other forms of electromagnetic radiation like infrared and radio waves. Today we can finally detect gravitational waves, and that opens the door to fundamentally new ways of observing and understanding the Universe.
Gravitational waves are the “ripples” created in spacetime which are caused by massive accelerating objects. Combined with other observations, they give researchers brand new tools to understand what’s happening in the Universe. Questions include the nature of extreme gravity, the origin and evolution of the universe, and the structure of compact objects such as black holes and neutron stars, as well as profound questions about fundamental physics and astrophysics.
CIFAR’s Gravity & the Extreme Universe program unites world-leading researchers from a number of relevant fields who are taking advantage of this wealth of new information. Fellows were chosen not only for individual excellence, but also for their expertise from a variety of fields, and across theory, experiment and observation.