Jul 6 – 13, 2022
Bologna, Italy
Europe/Rome timezone

GWitchHunters – A citizen science project for the improvement of gravitational wave detectors

Jul 8, 2022, 7:05 PM
1h 25m
Bologna, Italy

Bologna, Italy

Palazzo della Cultura e dei Congressi
Poster Education and Outreach Poster Session


Francesco Di Renzo (Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare)


Gravitational-wave detectors are very sophisticated instruments devoted to the formidable task of measuring space-time deformations as small as a thousandth the size of the atomic nucleus, such as those produced by astrophysical phenomena like the coalescence of compact binary systems. GWitchHunters is a new citizen science initiative developed within the REINFORCE project (funded under the H2020 “Science With And For Society” program), aimed at promoting the study of the noise of gravitational-wave detectors and the improvement of their sensitivity. To achieve this goal, gravitational-wave data is presented to the citizens in the form of images and sounds, on which citizens are asked to perform quick-look analysis, such as identifying relations and patterns among them. This constitutes an important input to the detector characterization activity carried out by the researchers. To make the work done by the participants even more enjoyable, we have made use of the Zooniverse web platform and mobile app, where citizens can get entertained while learning and actively contributing to real science. We will report on the status of the project as well as on its impact on the study and characterization of noise in the Advanced Virgo detector.

In-person participation Yes

Primary authors

Francesco Di Renzo (Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare) Francesco Fidecaro (University of Pisa and INFN) Gary Hemming (European Gravitational Observatory) Massimiliano Razzano (University of Pisa and INFN-Pisa) Stavros Katsanevas

Presentation materials