Ling Sun

Ling Sun is making valuable contributions toward international research efforts on gravitational waves, particularly in the data analysis field.

I am a Physics PhD student at The University of Melbourne, mainly focusing on gravitational wave data analysis for the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) project. This is an international experiment that is developing tools to detect gravitational waves. Funded by the Dr Alan Kenneth Head Travelling Scholarship , between January and July 2016 I spent 6 month visiting LIGO sites, labs and universities located in the United States and Italy. The first 3.5 months were part of the LIGO Visitors Program, which is operated by the LIGO Scientific Collaboration. The aim of this program is to describe techniques associated with the field of interferometric gravitational wave detection, and enhance communication between visitors and the global LIGO teams. For the remaining part I visited the University of Michigan and the University of Rome - La Sapienza; collaborating with the groups there for research work on LIGO data analysis.

During my trip I was able to contribute to flagging the continuous wave hardware injections during the first observational run of Advanced LIGO, produce papers and presentations on the continuous gravitational wave searches and worked with data analysis groups to improve our search and application methods.

In March 2016 I was able to attend an LVC meeting (in Pasadena, US), which was the first LVC conference since the detection of gravitational waves, and brought together important and instructive presentations and discussions. The Gravitational Wave Advanced Detector Workshop (GWADW) in Elba, Italy, also helped me establish the knowledge about instruments and the next generation of detectors, which will enhance my research on gravitational waves.

Some of my research results have been published or written up in papers, and some will also be published as part of the LIGO collaboration papers. During the visit and I have a series of presentations to showcase the contribution of data analysis group in the University of Melbourne toward the international LIGO collaboration, explaining the methods developed by the Melbourne group and the astrophysical search results achieved. I have also taken part in some outreaching activities like teaching elementary school students gravitational waves, which is also interesting and valuable experience.

Find out more about Ling Sun's recent research - Riding the Gravitational Wave.