Home > News and Events > 2017 News > Two discoveries by international collaborations involving Penn State scientists make list of Physics World Top Ten Breakthroughs of 2017

Two discoveries by international collaborations involving Penn State scientists make list of Physics World Top Ten Breakthroughs of 2017

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12 December 2017

Historic finds were made this year by collaborations involving faculty, postdoctoral, and student scientists from Penn State's Eberly College of Science

The Eberly College of Science is proud to have been a part of these groundbreaking scientific collaborations and their incredible discoveries.

First multimessenger observation of a neutron-star merger

The Physics World 2017 Breakthrough of the Year is the first multimessenger observation of a neutron-star merger.

Scientists with Penn State’s LIGO group and Institute for Gravitation and the Cosmos—including Drs. Abhay Ashetkar, Chad Hanna, Peter Mészáros, and B.S. Sathyaprakash as well as a number of other Penn State faculty researchers and postdoctoral and student scientists—were key in this discovery.

Read our press release.

Chad Hanna demonstrates gravitational waves via ripples in water. Credit: Michelle Bixby, Penn State.
Chad Hanna demonstrates gravitational waves via ripples in water. Credit: Michelle Bixby, Penn State.

Also integral in the observation were Penn State scientists with NASA's Swift Gamma-Ray Burst Mission—including Drs. Jamie Kennea, Michael Siegel, David Burrows, Caryl Gronwall, John Nousek, and Boris Sbarufatti as well as Aaron Tohuvavohu.

Read the press release in Penn State News.

An illustration of colliding neutron stars producing gamma rays (magenta) and gravitational waves (pale arc). Credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center/CI Lab
An illustration of colliding neutron stars producing gamma rays (magenta) and gravitational waves (pale arc). Credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center/CI Lab

Ultra-high-energy cosmic rays have extra-galactic origins

Showing that ultra-high-energy cosmic rays come from outside the Milky Way puts the Pierre Auger Observatory collaboration in the Physics World Top Ten Breakthroughs of 2017.

Penn State’s Pierre Auger Collaboration group—which includes Drs. Miguel Mostafá and Stephane Coutu as well as a number of postdoctoral and student scientists—has been instrumental in the broader collaboration and likewise was key in this particular discovery.

Read our press release.

Penn State graduate students from the Miguel Mostafá Lab, on location at the Pierre Auger observatory in Argentina. Credit: Miguel Mostafá, Penn State.
Penn State graduate students from the Miguel Mostafá Lab, on location at the Pierre Auger observatory in Argentina. Credit: Miguel Mostafá, Penn State.

Physics World Top 10 Breakthroughs of 2017

Read the original release.

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