CfA – GW group

Photo of the "post-PAX" workshop attendees in front of Philips auditorium
Photo of the "post-PAX" workshop attendees in front of Philips auditorium

This page is for the gravitational-wave related events organized at CfA. Most importantly, we recently started a gravitational-wave group that tries to share gravitational-wave related resources and/or organizes meetings to discuss gravitational wave topics among scientists at the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian.
Everyone in the local Boston area is welcome to join for these events, and we particularly invite MIT gravitational-wave folks!

You can join the email list using the following link: (or email me: floor.broekgaarden[at]


  • June 16 noon @courtyard CfA: lunch with Gravitational Wave visitors Shanika Galaudage & Reinhold Willcox
  • June 16 2PM, Library CfA, gravitational wave meeting with contributions from Shanika Galaudage & Reinhold Willcox
  • July 5, 1PM, Philips: sensitivity curves discussion 
  • July 19, 1PM, library, Lieke van Son & Adam Boesky: probing star formation history
  • July 26, 1PM: library, Martyna Chruslinska & Jakub Klencki, 
  • August 4 & 5: post PAX meeting (details below). 
  • August 15, 12pm, B105, Joshua Shields, type 1a SNe, 

    [ small summer break]

  • October TBD, Magda Siwek, Super Massive Black Hole Binary Mergers  


— Background of GW group at CfA — 

The gravitational-wave astronomy landscape is looking bright. LIGO and Virgo are starting their next detector run (O4) in 2023, and many future planned gravitational-wave observing runs and new instruments including LISA, Cosmic Explorer, and Einstein Telescope will rapidly increase the number of observed gravitational-wave sources in the coming decade(s).  This makes it an opportune time to come together with astronomers at CfA to discuss the big open questions in gravitational-wave astronomy today including: 

  • How can we use gravitational-waves to learn about the formation, lives and explosive deaths of massive stars through cosmic history? 
  • What are  gravitational wave sources at high redshifts: population III stars, primordial black holes, black hole seeds…?
  • What can gravitational waves teach us about star formation history and galaxy evolution (at high redshifts) in our Universe?
  • How do we constrain cosmology (and cosmological parameters) from gravitational-waves? 
  • What can we learn about super massive black holes (formation) from gravitational waves?
  • What can we learn from multi-messenger and multi-(gravitational-wave)-wavelength observations? 
  • How do we improve on the statistical challenges in the Big Data gravitational-wave Era?

If you are interested in (a subset of) these topics, this email list is for you! 

We will use this email list to announce gravitational-wave related events and opportunities at/for CfA. This includes on the short term: several meetings throughout the summer to discuss gravitational-wave topics, start new projects, and foster collaboration (e.g., with the gravitational wave experts from MIT and the several gravitational-wave experts that are visiting CfA this summer). 

We hope all interested, and in particular also early-career astronomers, will join.

We emphasize that you don’t have to commit to attending any of the events to join the email list. 

On 4 and 5 of August 2022 we held a “post-PAX” gravitational-wave meeting at CfA. Details below. 

Post-PAX VIII MIT-CfA gravitational-wave meeting.
We held a post-PAX VIII meeting on gravitational-wave astronomy on the 4th and 5th of August (Thursday and Friday) 2022 at the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian. The goal was to connect between the local MIT and CfA (gravitational-wave) astronomers and he groups/people attending PAX working on similar topics. We discussed particularly the topics “black hole spins”, “redshift evolution of gravitational waves (observations)”, “redshift evolution (theory); metallicity-specific star formation history” , and “statistical and Big Data challenges in gravitational-wave astronomy”.  This event is partly sponsored by the Harvard Institute for Theory and Computation (ITC).  Please reach out to me if you are interested in joining and haven’t received an email with the invitation yet. 

Current participants include:

Jasmine Gill, Thomas Ng, Maya Fishbach, Reed Essick, Rhondale Tso, Tassos Fragos, Philippe Landry, Kelvin Lam, Rory Smith, Sylvia Biscoveanu, Colm Talbot, Will Farr, Boris Goncharov, Michela Mapelli, Monica Gallegos-Garcia, Richard Qiu, Carl Rodriguez, Magdalena Siwek, Mila Chadayammuri, Gus Beane, Vishal Baibhav, Edo Berger, Adam Boesky, Kenta Hotokezaka, Daichi Hiramatsu, Arianna Dwomoh, Carl Haster, Michael Zevin, Dashon Jones, Maryam Hussaini, Warren Brown, Katie Breivik, Hanyue Wang, Ben Farr, Pippa Cole, Jack Heinzel, Vijay Varma, Joseph Cameron Mills, Josh Grindlay, Geoffrey MoLan, Quynh Nguyen, Kaze Wong, Floor Broekgaarden, Salvo Vitale



– flinga whiteboard