On the Zooniverse website, I did the citizen science project called “Gravity Spy”. This project entailed the identification and classification of glitches from the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory. My contributions to glitch identification, along with everyone else’s, gives physicists valuable data on the frequency of glitches, evolution of glitches, and patterns in glitches. Glitch classification with sophisticated algorithms sometimes isn’t full proof, and thousands of glitches happen each day, so it is important for as much people as possible to classify glitches. By doing glitch classification, I am also contributing to the improvement of glitch-identification algorithms. Studying glitches are integral to increasing the confidence of astrophysical detections, specifically, gravitational-wave detections. This is because glitches must be accounted for to accurately measure actual gravitational phenomena.
Citizen Science Project
Space has always been a big interest of mine, which is why I chose Gravity Spy as my citizen science project, which I found on Zooniverse. This particular project interested me because gravity waves are still a fairly new discovery in the field of science and there is still a lot of research going on regarding gravity waves. LIGO is the most sensitive and complicated gravitational experiment ever built, and with the data it collects there are often many glitches. The project I was tasked with was to identify glitches the gravity wave detectors have picked up as either a ‘blip’ or ‘whistle’. The blips simply looked like blips that popped up on the chart, and whistles showed up as thin lines that stretched across the graph. If there was a blip, I’d sort it into the blip category, and if a thin line was stretching across the graph, I’d classify it as a whistle. It was very fascinating to find out just how these sensitive detectors pick up the gravitational waves emitted from the two distant black holes a few hundred lightyears away combining two create one supermassive black hole. In all, this was a very interesting project that taught me more about the concept of gravity waves. I was able to help categorize information gathered by detectors like LIGO to help advance future research regarding gravity waves.
20 December 2016
Science National Honors Society
The citizen science project that I chose to do is called: Gravity Spy. Gravity Spy is an interactive “glitch” identifier on Zooniverse, a website hosting many classification citizen science projects. With Gravity Spy, I am supposed to identify “glitches” in the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory’s (LIGO) data that are rendering them unable to accurately search for gravitational waves. Physics is an interesting subject that I am considering to major in when I attend college in the near future. After participating in this citizen science project, I feel like I know a bit more about physics and that searching for data is quite a bit harder than one would think, especially when it comes to gravitational waves.