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Shawhan, Peter

Shawhan, Peter

Curriculum Vitae

Biography

Peter Shawhan did graduate research in Physics at the University of Chicago, studying CP violation in neutral K meson decays, and earned his Ph.D. in 1999. He then spent seven years at Caltech as a Millikan Prize Fellow and Senior Scientist, helping to establish observing operations and data analysis for the LIGO gravitational wave detectors. As a University of Maryland Physics faculty member since 2006, Shawhan's primary research revolves around searching for gravitational wave signals from neutron stars, black holes, collapsing stars, and other extreme astrophysical sources. Detection of these elusive signals, beginning with the first spectacular event in September 2015 from a pair of merging black holes, has confirmed a prediction of Einstein's general theory of relativity and is revealing the properties of gravitational-wave sources and enabling tests of the theory of gravity. Other research interests include laboratory tests of gravity and X-ray transient surveys.