With the recent first detections of gravitational waves by LIGO and Virgo, it is both timely and appropriate to begin seriously planning for a network of future gravitational-wave observatories, capable of extending the reach of detections well beyond that currently achievable with second generation instruments.
In response, GWIC is forming a standing Subcommittee on Third Generation Ground-based Detectors. This subcommittee is tasked with examining the path to a future network of observatories/facilities and making recommendations for coordinated development of a 3G network.
GWIC is pleased to announce that the 2017 Edoardo Amaldi Conference on Gravitational Waves will be held in Pasadena, California, USA. This will be a return visit to Pasadena, which hosted the third Amaldi meeting in 1999. The Conference web pages can be found at Amaldi12.
Since 2005, GWIC has awarded the GWIC Thesis Prize annually to an outstanding Ph.D. thesis based on research in gravitational waves. In 2011, the Friends of Stefano Braccini created a separate thesis prize, to honor Stefano, a talented young physicist who had worked with the Virgo project. At the GR20/Amaldi10 meeting in Warsaw, these two groups decided to coordinate these two prizes to better serve the gravitational wave community.
In particular, GWIC and the Friends of Stefano Braccini will make a common call for nominations, and will jointly select the winners of the two prizes. Both prizes will continue to be awarded annually, and the monetary award for the Stefano Braccini Prize will be increased to $1000 to match the award of the GWIC Thesis Prize. To make a distinction between the two prizes, the GWIC Thesis Prize will emphasize the impact on the field of gravitational waves, and the Stefano Braccini Prize will emphasize the novelty and innovation of the research.
Since 1999, GWIC has been associated with the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP), as a sub-panel of IUPAP's Working Group on Particle and Nuclear Astrophysics and Gravitation, PaNAGIC. This association has been important to GWIC as it gives us visibility and formal standing in the broader physics community as well as important connections to the astropartical physics community and to the gravitation community through the International Society on General Relativity and Gravitation (ISGRG), which is an Affiliated Commission of IUPAP.
In 2011, IUPAP decided to dissolve PaNAGIC and to form a new Working Group with a sharper focus on astroparticle physics, the AstroParticle Physics International Committee (APPIC). This led to discussions on the status and future of GWIC, and in particular its relationship to IUPAP. GWIC decided to seek Working Group status within the IUPAP structure, in effect a promotion. Through the efforts of Malcolm MacCallum (president of ISGRG), this proposal was made to the IUPAP council and was unanimously accepted, giving GWIC the IUPAP designation WG.11. In this new position, GWIC will have higher visibility, and its annual reports of its activities will go directly to the IUPAP council, instead of being submitted through PaNAGIC. GWIC and APPIC will have significant cross-membership to ensure communication. In addition, GWIC will accept representatives from IUPAP Affiliated Commission 2 (General Relativity and Gravitation) and from IUPAP Commission C19 (Astrophysics).