Prime Minister comments on the University of Sydney's role in GW discovery

19 October 2017

On October 17th, the discovery of the first gravitational waves caused by the collision of two neutron stars was announced. This was the result of a massive collaboration between the LIGO-Virgo and 70 observatories. The University of Sydney and CAASTRO team, led by SIfA Prof. Tara Murphy played a crucial role, being the first in the world to confirm the radio waves from the source (read full story).

The contribution of the University of Sydney and CAASTRO scientists has not gone unnoticed by the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. In his speech at the 2017 PRIME MINISTER'S PRIZES FOR SCIENCE ceremony on October 18th, the Prime Minister said:

At the other end of the spectrum, Australian scientists have contributed to the Nobel Prize-winning detection of gravitational waves - ripples in space-time from events like exploding stars or merging black holes, proving, at long last, the existence of a phenomenon predicted by Albert Einstein in 1916.

Now as a lawyer, I'll leave the more detailed explanation to the many experts in the room, but I will pay tribute to Australia's contribution to this extraordinary breakthrough.

And the discovery would not have been possible without the precision optics used in the instrumentation, and the optical coatings developed at CSIRO. And the University of Sydney and the ARC Centre of Excellence for All-sky Astrophysics used CSIRO's Compact Array to confirm the event.