Centre for Gravitational Physics

The Centre for Gravitational Physics (CGP) was founded to undertake research and development for instrumentation for the detection of gravitational waves. These technologies use laser interferometers to sense tiny displacements. At the CGP we developed and installed instrumentation and control systems in the Laser Interferometer Gravitational wave Observatory (LIGO) and in the GRACE Follow-On mission. We have also spun-off gravitational wave detection technologies into a number of related research fields.

Most of the research in the group is directed towards gravitational wave detection, the related area of high precision measurement, and the exploitation of gravitational waves for astronomy. Our specific research interests include advanced interferometer configurations and control systems, measurement of thermal and quantum noise, quantum noise cancellation and quantum-non-demolition techniques, data analysis, digital interferometry, Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) Follow-On Mission, and frequency stabilisation for the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (eLISA). For further information on our research please have a look at the various research pages. The group has a purpose built laboratory for experimental work and access to premier computing facilities. The group also has links with the ANU Quantum Optics Group.

The ANU Centre for Gravitational Physics is located within the Department of Quantum Science. We are a member institution of the Australian Consortium for Interferometric Gravitational wave Astronomy (ACIGA). We work closely with the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) and are members of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration (LSC) and have taken on specific responsibilities in the design and construction of Advanced LIGO (AdvLIGO).

Centre for Gravitational Physics Group

The Centre for Gravitational Physics

CGP news


Gravitational waves detected for first time from two stars colliding

Scientists from The Australian National University (ANU) and around the world have detected for the first time ripples in space and time, known as gravitational waves, from the collision of two very dense stars, called neutron stars, about 130 million light years away.


Third gravitational wave detection offers new insight into black holes

We detected a third binary black hole merger with the LIGO gravitational wave detectors. The black holes merged about 3 billion years ago and travelled through earth on 4 January 2017. The detection is published in Physical Review Letters, a science summary can be found on the LIGO website. Members of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Gravitational Wave Discovery (OzGrav) are part of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration.


ARC Centre of Excellence for Gravitational Wave Discovery (OzGrav)

The CGP is the ANU node of the recently awarded ARC Centre of Excellence for Gravitational Wave Discovery (OzGrav). The Centre brings together the Australian gravitational wave community from pulsar-timing to the terrestrial and space based interferometer detectors. OzGrav is a partnership between Swinburne University (host of OzGrav headquarters), the Australian National University, Monash University, University of Adelaide, University of Melbourne, and University of Western Australia, along with other collaborating organisations in Australia and overseas.


Again! Second set of merging black holes found

A second binary black hole merger has been found by LIGO, cementing the new field of gravitational wave astronomy. The paper describing the discovery is published in Physical Review Letters and a science summary can be found on the LIGO website.


We did it! Gravitational waves detected

The LIGO Scientific Collaboration has successfully detected gravitational waves from a pair of colliding black holes


For enquires about the group and our research please contact the head of the group, Professor David McClelland.

Phone: +61 (0)2 6125 2747 (Secretary)
Fax: +61 (0)2 6125 0741

Updated:  15 January 2019/ Responsible Officer:  Head of Department/ Page Contact:  Physics Webmaster