Faculty Achievement: Dr. Maria Babiuc Hamilton


Maria Babiuc Hamilton and her collaborators1 recently published a paper in the journal Classical and Quantum Gravity2, titled, “GiRaFFE: an open-source general relativistic force-free electrodynamics code.”

The paper comes with an open source code, “GiRaFFE,” which is able to simulate both gravitational and light waves emitted by sources like binary black holes and neutron stars. This is important, in the light of the recent detection of gravitational waves by three observatories3, which makes it possible to determine the sky location of gravitational waves.  This will allow prompt follow-up with telescopes, at last opening the skies to “multimessenger astronomy.”  This new approach will tell astronomers much more about the physics of black hole collisions, gamma-ray bursts, and other powerful phenomena in space.

The research was supported in part by the National Science Foundation’s EPSCoR Research Infrastructure grant for Marshall and WVU: “Waves of the Future: Capacity Building for the Rising Tide of STEM in West Virginia” and the “Center for Gravitational Waves and Cosmology.”


1(Zachariah B. Etienne and Sean T. McWilliams from West Virginia University, Mew-Bing Wan from the Zhejiang University of Technology, Hangzhou, China, and graduate student Ashok Choudhary.)

2Classical and Quantum Gravity, vol. 34, no. 21, 27 September 2017.)

3(including the new Virgo http://www.virgo-gw.eu/ )