With the new physics department center at Cal State Fullerton, the Gravitational-Wave Physics and Astronomy Center, assistant physics professor Joshua Smith will lead a team of two other faculty members Jocelyn Read and Geoffrey Lovelace to help students and the university to understand the universe better.
The center, which opened its doors Sept. 28, is part of a larger effort by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) Scientific Collaboration to observe and study gravitational waves generated by phenomena in space.
All three faculty members bring diverse and unique perspectives to the field of physics and astrophysics.
Smith, the Center director, who currently works with LIGO and has been at CSUF for two years, has the practical experience of understanding the physics department at CSUF as well as the students.
Read’s background is primarily in theoretical astrophysics with a speciality in modeling sources of gravitational waves, especially neutron stars, or “dead” stars that have an enormous amount of mass, but not enough to create a black hole.
Lovelace is a theoretical general relativity physicist specializing in modeling sources of gravitational waves using numerical relativity. He works on numerical simulations of occurrences in space to better analyze their potential effects.