Raymond E. Frey

Physics Department
1274 University of Oregon
Eugene, OR 97403-1274

541-346-5873 (phone)
 current CV  (pdf format)

Ray Frey

Research in Gravitational Wave Detection and Astrophysics

GW150915 signal detected by LIGO


On Sept 14, 2015, the two LIGO detectors both recorded the unmistakable signature of the merger of two black holes. The LIGO data, displayed as amplitude (colors) signal frequency and time, is shown above. It represents (1) the first observation of gravitational waves, and (2) the first direct observation of black holes. The black holes, each roughly 30 solar masses, are depicted at right in a simulation just before they merged, forming a single excited black hole. Here are some articles about the discovery:

Journal article (Feb 11, 2016):
 Phys. Rev. Lett. 116, 061102 (2016)
or   arXiv:1602.03837

UO story highlighting our local contributions: Around-the-O

LIGO Science Summary (for the public): GW150914 Science Summary 

Science Breakthrough of the Year: Science 2016
and again in 2017 for the binary neutron-star merger  GW170817 + GRB 170817A
binary black hole merger (simulation)

The New Field of Gravitational Wave Astronomy and Astrophysics by Observations with LIGO

The observation of gravitational waves (GWs) in 2015-16 has opened a new window on the universe. LIGO consists of two observatories, one in Washington state and one in Louisiana. The UO group has been active in LIGO since about 1998. The UO group mostly works at the LIGO Hanford observatory and on data analysis on campus. The first observing run (O1) was the "discovery run" in 2015. The sensitivity of LIGO was about 30% of its design. When LIGO achieves its full (Advanced LIGO) design sensitivity, this will represent a volume of space we can "see" which is (1/0.3)^3 = 30 times larger than that of O1.  

The UO LIGO group specializes its contributions in two main activities:
  1. Measuring the contributions of non-astrophysical influences to the GW data (e.g. EM fields, ground motion, acoustic noise, cosmic rays, etc)
  2. Searches for GW signals associated with astrophysical "triggers" such as gamma-ray bursts, magnetar flares, or supernovae --> Jackpot! August 2017: Binary neutron start merger + GRB
LIGO journal publications.

The UO-LIGO group presently (2020) consists of :


Publications: see the CV

Professor of Physics