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Undergraduate Research at LIGO

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Academic Level:
For most summer research programs, this is your upcoming status as of the fall. Always check with the individual program's website for details.

Undergraduates - First Year
Undergraduates - Sophomore
Undergraduates - Junior

Note: this opportunity encourages applications from community college students.

Undergraduate students are encouraged to participate in the development of gravitational-wave science through the LIGO Project. This intensive summer program takes place each year at Caltech, funded in part through the Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Program of the National Science Foundation. Undergraduate students from all institutions (both U.S. and foreign) are invited to apply to the LIGO Summer Undergraduate Research Program. Research awards include a summer stipend and some funding for travel to Caltech as needed.

The LIGO Project is an NSF-supported endeavor to design, build, and operate an astrophysical observatory for the detection and study of gravitational radiation. The observatory includes two sites (Hanford, Washington and Livingston Parish, Louisiana) with laser interferometric detector systems. More information on LIGO can be found on the LIGO home page. The aim of the LIGO Summer Undergraduate Research Program is to organize the participation of undergraduate students in research associated with the LIGO Project.

Eligibility All continuing undergraduate students (i. e. who will be students next year) may apply to the LIGO Summer Undergraduate Research Program. Women and minorities are strongly encouraged to apply.

Different projects require different skills and background, and we typically have some projects that are suitable for students who have just completed the freshman year.

Location Students in the LIGO Summer Program reside either at Caltech or one of the LIGO sites in Washington and Louisiana.

Range of Projects LIGO research --> projects may cover many areas of science and engineering related to the detection of gravitational radiation, including:

'Laboratory projects in mechanical, laser, optical, and electronic systems

'Modeling and analysis of optomechanical systems

'Software development projects

'Modeling of astrophysical sources of gravitational radiation

Participating Institution(s):
(Click an institution to see all programs it hosts)
California Institute of Technology (Lead)

Program Materials:
 • Program Website 

This Program can be Described by:
Academic Disciplines:
Applied Mathematics
Astronomy & Astrophysics
Computational Sciences
Computer & Electrical Engineering
Computer Sciences
Information Sciences
Materials Science & Engineering
Sensor Science & Engineering
STEM Fields

Digital Signal Processing
Gravitational Radiation
High Performance Computing
Laser Science & Technology
Optical Engineering
Optical Systems
Quantum Optics

Learn More and Apply!

This program is funded by:
National Science Foundation (NSF)

Page last updated 4/19/2022
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