Making Waves: Physicists Win Nobel Prize for GPU-Powered Gravity Wave Detection
GPUs played an important role in crunching the data collected by the twin LIGO observatories in Hanford, Washington, and Livingston, Louisiana, making the detection of the first gravitational waves in 2015 possible.
Researchers had just started up the most advanced version of LIGO when the vibrations from a massive pair of colliding black holes slammed the detectors in Louisiana and Washington with a rising tone, or “chirp,” for a fifth of a second. The waves from that violent collision took about 1.3 billion years to reach the LIGO detectors.
In addition to confirming a core element of Einstein’s theory of relativity, the discovery pioneered a new form of astronomy based on the study of gravitational waves.