Tiffany Summerscales is an assistant professor of physics at Andrews University. She
joined the faculty in 2006. 

Originally from New Hampshire, Summerscales attended Andrews University and graduated in
1999 with a BS in Mathematics and Physics. She then went to graduate school at Penn State
University and received a PhD in Physics in 2006. While there, she worked with LIGO (the
Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory) which seeks to measure gravitational
waves - the faint ripples in spacetime produced by cataclysmic astronomical events and
predicted by Einstein's theory of General Relativity. Her thesis dealt with what
information could be learned from a supernova if the gravitational waves it produces are
detected by LIGO. 

Summerscales is currently a member of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration (LSC). She works
on projects involving LIGO detector characterization and the problem of extracting
gravitational wave information from a network of detectors. She also enjoys teaching
physics courses and interacting with students. When not on campus, she likes kayaking and
spending time with her husband, Rodney Summerscales. 

Current Research or Professional Activities: According to Einstein's theory of
general relativity, mass curves spacetime. When the distribution of mass changes, the
curvature must also change and that change spreads outwards through space like the
ripples on a pond. These ripples, also called gravitational waves, are very faint. Only
the most catastrophic events and massive objects in the universe are capable of producing
gravitational waves of measurable strength. 

LIGO (the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory) is attempting to detect
gravitational waves for the first time. Once these elusive spacetime ripples are caught,
they will reveal important information about their sources. With gravitational waves it
will be possible to watch neutron stars and black holes collide, see into the heart of a
supernova, and look back to the moment of the universe's creation. 

LIGO Data Analysis

Link

Search for gravitational-wave bursts associated with Gamma-ray Bursts using data from LIGO Science Run 5 and Virgo Science Run 1 (with Virgo Collaboration), Ap.J. (2010)

We present the results of a search for gravitational-wave bursts associated with 137 gamma-ray bursts...

 

Link

Determination of the angular momentum distribution of supernovae from gravitational wave observations (with S Desai, K Kotake, S D. Mohanty, M Rakhmanov, and S Yoshida), Class. Quantum. Grav (2008)

Significant progress has been made in the development of an international network of gravitational wave...

 

Link

Maximum Entropy for Gravitational Wave Data Analysis: Inferring the Physical Parameters of Core-Collapse Supernovae (with A Burrows, L S. Finn, and C Ott), Ap.J. (2008)

The gravitational wave signal arising from the collapsing iron core of a Type II supernova...

 

Link

Monitoring Sco X-1 for the detection of gravitational waves with networks of gravitational wave detectors (with S Mohanty, M Rakhmanov, and S Desai), J. Phys. Conf. Ser. (2008)

Searching for gravitational waves triggered by electromagnetic astronomical observations has several benefits: prior information about...

 

Link

Proposed method for searches of gravitational waves from PKS 2155-304 and other blazar flares (with K Hayama, S Mohanty, M Rakhmanov, and S Yoshida), Class. Quantum. Grav (2008)

We propose to search for gravitational waves from PKS 2155-304 as well as other blazars....