Eureka! How Compute Canada Resources Helped With One of the Greatest Science Discoveries


Toronto – Compute Canada’s advanced research computing resources were the tools used by Dr. Harald Pfeiffer’s team that contributed to one of the world’s most momentous discoveries yesterday.

“Compute Canada actually contributed to so many aspects. Simulations to construct the waveform-models that found the gravitational waves and analyzed the properties of the source and simulations for cross-checks. And, movies!! The movie shown at the official launch yesterday was generated from a simulation run on a variety of Compute Canada resources,” said Dr. Harald Pfeiffer.

See the simulation videos

The University of Toronto celebrated the announcement yesterday in their official release.

A team of astrophysicists at the University of Toronto played an instrumental role in providing some of the calculations that enabled a successful search for the waves. They’re part of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration, a group of more than 1,000 scientists from universities in the United States and 14 other countries.

“It is absolutely stunning to see two ground-breaking discoveries at once,” said Associate Professor Harald Pfeiffer, U of T’s lead on the collaboration. “Not only were gravitational waves measured for the very first time passing through Earth, but these waves were caused by astronomical objects that have never been observed before. We see today that black holes exist in the universe and they do collide!” said Pfeiffer.

Compute Canada is honoured to continue to support and enable Canadian researchers like Dr. Pfeiffer and his team, and to help accelerate their ground breaking research efforts.


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