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UWM networking maintenance
There is a need to upgrade the networking equipment at UWM and we want to do so before the new Web site launch. As a result, the Einstein@Home project will be down on Monday July 25, 2016; starting at 1300 UTC. That's 1500 for most Europeans and 0900 for East-coast North America. It's our hope that the network downtime will be less than 20 minutes.

During this time the Einstein@Home project will be off and the Web site will be unavailable.
21 Jul 2016, 14:49:30 UTC · Comment

Upcoming website relaunch
After a long time of development and testing we're ready to relaunch our website!

The new site will feature a new design that's much improved over the current more than 10-year-old set of pages. The current Einstein@Home website is neither visually appealing by today's standards, nor is it particularly accessible because of the current structuring of information. First time visitors and potential new volunteers can be confused and we want to avoid that of course. We want to release a fully revamped website with an entirely new modern design as well as a complete overhaul of how we present information - all with an improved user-experience in mind.

Secondly, the current Einstein@Home website maintenance has always been cumbersome. Many content changes require a change of code! That's not the best way to get scientists to add or update content, like blogging about their current work or providing additional scientific content. We needed a way to facilitate that to expand the range of information we provide to our volunteer community, increasing their insight into what's going on behind the scenes. We chose to use Drupal, a true content management system, that allows us to do just that. But there's more: it's possible to extend Drupal's functionality in a way that it can fully include the functionality of BOINC's stock webpages. Other projects separated their content/science pages from their project management/community website, effectively providing two websites for a single BOINC project. That's something we wanted to avoid. We want a fully integrated, coherent solution and Drupal allows us to do that. However, the downside of this is a relatively complex implementation which is why it took us some time to develop it with our limited resources. Now we think it's time to release it.

We know that major changes like these will never please everyone, whether it's the visual design or the modernized site structure. We tried to minimize such negative effects by running a public test phase over at albertathome.org. That test phase started two years ago where we first invited our top 100 community power-users and our moderators. After that we fully migrated our test project and invited the whole community to give it a spin. We gathered your feedback and incorporated it into the now to be released version. Please note though that the new site still isn't 100% complete. It's going to be just the beginning - we upgrade its foundation to be able to build new offerings on top of it over the next months and years.

Long story short, here's the current release plan:

  • July 20th: first public announcement
  • July 25th: release plan update / heads-up
  • July 29th: final heads-up
  • August 1st-5th: website downtime / data migration / relaunch

Please note that during the first week of August the project's website will be shut down as we need to migrate all the existing community content in a coherent way. We try to keep the project itself running such that workunit distribution shouldn't be affected.

The Einstein@Home Team

20 Jul 2016, 10:10:06 UTC · Comment

New minutephysics video about gravitational waves and Einstein@Home
Henry Reich from the YouTube channel minutephysics has released a new video about gravitational wave basics. It explains how gravitational waves are generated, why we need very, very sensitive detectors like the Advanced LIGO instruments and how everybody can help searching for gravitational waves. You guessed it: by running Einstein@Home.

Watch, enjoy, and share the video available here on YouTube. We are looking forward to your feedback and discussions here in our message boards.

Benjamin for the entire Einstein@Home team

P.S.: Full disclosure: Einstein@Home supported Henry Reich/minutephysics in making the video by providing scientific information and funding.
8 Jul 2016, 9:51:07 UTC · Comment

Results of the deepest all-sky survey for continuous gravitational waves on LIGO S6 data
The analysis of the results from the four combined Einstein@home runs on S6 LIGO data are out: Results of the deepest all-sky survey for continuous gravitational waves on LIGO S6 data running on the Einstein@Home volunteer distributed computing project

We will shortly also submit the paper for publication in Physical Review D, but we wanted to share these results with you immediately. We have not yet found a gravitational wave signal but we could bound the height of mountains on neutron stars in the neighbourhood of Earth. For example, we can now say that there is no neutron star spinning at 9 ms or faster within 100 parsecs of Earth with a bump higher than 1 cm!

On behalf of M. Alessandra Papa for the Einstein@Home team
1 Jul 2016, 7:08:02 UTC · Comment

LIGO Does It Again: A Second Robust Binary Black Hole Coalescence Observed
The two LIGO gravitational wave detectors in Hanford Washington and Livingston Louisiana have caught a second robust signal from two black holes in their final orbits and then their coalescence into a single black hole. This event, dubbed GW151226, was seen on December 26th at 03:38:53 (in Universal Coordinated Time, also known as Greenwich Mean Time), near the end of LIGO's first observing period ("O1"), and was immediately nicknamed "the Boxing Day event".

In GW151226, the two black holes weighed in at 14 and 8 solar masses and merged at a distance of some 1.4 billion light years from Earth. Get all the info from the LIGO science summary.

Thanks for your continuous support in these exciting times!

Oliver, for the whole Einstein@Home team
16 Jun 2016, 7:21:50 UTC · Comment

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This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) under Grants PHY-1104902, PHY-1104617 and PHY-1105572 and by the Max Planck Gesellschaft (MPG). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the investigators and do not necessarily reflect the views of the NSF or the MPG.

Copyright © 2016 Bruce Allen