The Observational Relativity and Cosmology Division

The worldwide network of ground-based gravitational- wave detectors collects large volumes of data. Researchers of the “Observational Relativity and Cosmology” are the largest team specialized in data analysis in the international scientific community. They develop and implement advanced and efficient data analysis methods to search for weak gravitational-wave signals in the LIGO detector data streams and to characterize them afterwards. These methods enabled the first discovery of a gravitational wave in September 2015. In addition, the majority of the computational resources for the analysis of these data are provided by AEI operated computer cluster Atlas. Atlas consists of more than 14,000 CPU cores and 1.000,000 GPU cores, making it the largest computer cluster world-wide used for gravitational-wave data analysis. 

The division also plays a leading role in the distributed volunteer computing project Einstein@Home. Volunteers from all around the world participate in the search for unknown neutron stars by donating idle computing time on their PCs, laptops or smartphones. Einstein@Home searches for neutron stars in data from gravitational-wave detectors, from large radio telescopes and from the Fermi gamma-ray satellite. More than 70 new neutron stars have already been found in the radio and gamma-ray data. 

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