GWitchHunters – A citizen science project for the improvement of gravitational wave detectors
November 22, 2022
June 15, 2023
Gravitational-wave detectors are very sophisticated instruments devoted to the formidable task of measuring spacetime 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 Advanced gravitational-wave detectors.
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