photo, micho photo, micho photo, micho
Physics Colloquia
Long term visitors
Supervised Research
Useful Links
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Michele Zanolin Ph.D.

Associate Professor , Department of Physics, ERAU
Office: AC-1, Rm 213
Phone: 777-6919

Embry Riddle LIGO group roster
Papers in Astrophysics, Spires link
Papers in Acoustics with the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America (JASA) link
Papers with the Journal of the Audio Enginering Societylink
Papers with the Journal of Planetary science link
2010 Researcher of the year in the College of Arts and Sciences
2011 Researcher of the year for the Arizona campus picture
2012 Researcher of the year in the College of Arts and Sciences

MZ group's News

* 05/2016 Kelly Ault admitted to the ERAU PhD program, and to do research with the ERAU-LIGO/Gravity group in Prescott, AZ
* 05/2016 Martina Muratore a graduate student at the University of Rome (La Sapienza) awarded a grant to spend the 2016/2017 academic year in residence at the ERAU-LIGO/Gravity group in Prescott, AZ
* 05/2016 The ERAU LIGO group organizes a workshop on Gravitational Waves from Core Collapse Supernovae for June 2nd and 3rd 2016 in Prescott, AZ
* 05/2016 Wenhui Wang, a PhD student from the University of Texas, Rio Grande joins the ERAU-LIGO/Gravity group for 6 months
* 04/2016 MZ writes a chapter of the Supernova Hanbook (Springer-Verlag) with Matt Evans (MIT)
* 04/2016 Former student, Salvatore Vitale hired as assistant professor in Physics at MIT
* 04/2016 MZ awarded researcher of the year for the Arizona Campus of Embry Riddle Aeronautical University
* 03/2016 PhD student Marek Szczepanczyk becomes co-Chair of the LIGO Virgo Supernova group.
* 03/2016 Undergraduate Student Jasmine Gill, accepted in the LIGO SURF program at Caltech for summer 2016
* 02/2016 LIGO DETECTS GWs !! link
* 11/2015 New paper in the archives by S. E. Gossan, P. Sutton, A. Stuver, M. Zanolin, K. Gill, and C. D. Ott link
* 8/2015 Research student Jasmine Gill awarded outstanding presentation at APS 4 corners conference at ASU in Phoenix.
* 8/2015 New paper in the archives by Rhondale Tso, Michele Zanolin link
* 6/2015 MZ gives a seminar at the Grand Sasso Science Institute link
* 6/2015 MZ hosted for a month by the Florence INFN division to carry on SN research
* 6/2015 MZ and Marica Branchesi organize Supernova Workshop at the Univeristy of Urbino link
* 5/2015 Graduate student Marek Szczepanczyk gives a presentation in the opening session of "Fifty one erg Supernova conferenc"e in North Carolina link
* 6/2015 Two pages interview on MZ's research displayed in Sweedish Magazine link
* 4/2015 Research Student Kiranjiot (Jasmine) Gill awarded ERAU Ignite research grant link
* 3/2015 Research student Elaine Rhoades join the PhD program at Georgia Tech
* 2/2015 Research students Rhondale Tso join the PhD program at Caltech
* 12/2014 MZ becomes the Liaison of the Supervova group of the LIGO and Virgo scientific collaborations.
* 4/2014 MZ relocates to the California Institute of technology for the Sabbatical Year.
* 4/2014 Research student Matt Stone receives NASA-Space grant funding for summer 2014.
* 1/2014 MZ scheduled to deliver first physics colloquium of the spring 2014 semester at Embry Riddle University Engineering Physics program Daytona Beach Florida
* 12/2013 Research student Kevin Loew receives early admission to Phyiscs graduate program at Brandeis University
* 11/2013 Research Student Kevin Loew and Matt Stone awarded IGNITE funding award.
* 11/2013 Research student Elaine Rhoadese awarded IGNITE travel award to attend LSC conference in NICE March-2013
* 10/2013 Research student Eleaine Rhoades awarded NASA funding home page
* 8/2013 Research student Rhondale Tso awarded a two years bridge program scholarship at Columbia University (Janna Levin group)
* 4/2013 PhD student Marek Szczepanczyk hired to join the ERAU-LIGO group in December
* 4/2013 Awarded tenure, back to work :-)
* 3/2013 The Ligo and Virgo collaborations post in living reviews in Relativity a summary document on the direction reconstruction capability of a network of GW detectors that refers to MZ and S Vitale paper for accourate modelling of the problem link
* 10/2013 * 3/2013 Paper on model exclusion for SN signals submitted to Classical and Quantum gravity link
* 3/2013 MZ elected faculty marshall for the spring graduation
* 3/2013 Research student Elaine Rhoades awarded the SURF research internship at Caltech
* 1/2013 Phd D. student Marek Szczepanczyk join the LIGO ERAU group from the University of Warsaw
* 5/2012 Opening for a graduate student (to obtain a PhD) in the ERAU LIGO group
* 4/2012 Research student Alexander Corpuz awarded "physics graduate" of the Arizona campus.
* 4/2012 MZ awarded researcher of the year for the Arizona campus picture
* 4/2012 Former research student S.Vitale awarded postdoctoral position at MIT
* 3/2012 Research student Elaine Rhodes awarded $3300 to work during the summer on measurements of the Young's modulus of the LIGO mirrors
* 3/2012 Research Student Kevin Loew receives internal funding for summer research on Supernova Searches with LIGO.
* 3/2012 Comprehensive results on first generation all sky LIGO/VIRGO gravitational wave burst results accepted in PRD link
* 3/2012 MZ and 3 students presents recent results to the LSC-Virgo Joint meeting at MIT link
* 12/2011 Review document completed for the initial LIGO/VIRGO gravitational wave burst results (MZ review chair) link
* 11/2011 Students Kevin Lowe and Alexander Corpux obtain NASA-ERAU funding to work in MZ group.
* 9/2011 26 pages paper on parameter estimation from Gravitational waves accepted in Phys. Rev. D. link
* 9/2011 Agreement reached to bring the NSF-LIGO touring exibition to the ERAU Prescott campus between Dec2011 and March2012 link
* 9/2011 ERAU group partecipate to LSC conference in Gainesville FL link
* 9/2011 MZ to chair a LIGO face-to-face meeting in Hannover Germany (funding provided by the Albert Einstein Institute
* 8/2011 new paper on parameter estimation with interferometer networks submitted to PRD link
* 7/2011 MZ nominated chair of the review team for the pubblication of the burst results on S6 LIGO data.
* 2/2011 Research student Courtney Linn awarded one the NSF scholarships for summer Gravitational Wave research link (about 10 are offered nation wide every year)
* 1/2011 Major LIGO internal review completed by S.Heng (U.Glasgow), I. Ferrante (U.Pisa), M.Zanolin link
* 1/2011 Research student Alexander Corpux awarded one the NSF scholarships for summer Gravitational Wave research link (about 10 are offered nation wide every year)
* 1/2011 New paper on passive source localization in fluctuating waveguides pubblished on the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America link
* 12/2010 Research Student Marc Le Bourdais awarded physics graduate of the year
* 11/2010 Calibration of LIGO interferometers pubblished in 11/2010 Nucl.Instrum.Meth.A624:223-240,2010 and linkcontaining MZ's group's work on calibration studies
* 11/2010 paper on black hole mergers accepted on Phys. Rev. D (scheduled to appear on Dec 30th) link
* 10/2010 MZ scheduled to deliver physics colloquium at the physics department of ERAU Daytona. link
* 10/2010 Angelo Charbonnier and Marc Lebourdais renewed for one semester (the last before graduation) funding from the NASA-ERAU space grant to do research in MZ's group
* 10/2010 Courtney Linn awarded 1 year of funding from the NASA-ERAU space grant to do research in MZ's group
* 9/2010 Emily Heaton awarded 1 year of funding from the NASA-ERAU space grant to do research in MZ's group
* 8/2010 Emily Eaton spends 8 Days doing a science monitoring shift at the LIGO livingston observatory.
* 8/2010 Paper on parameter estimation for Inspiral-Merger-Ringdown (IMR) binary signals submitted to PRD link
* 7/2010 MZ gives a Physics colloquium at
Tufts University (July 22nd)
* 6/2010 MZ in the PhD thesis committee of Ioannis_Bertsatos at MIT
link to thesis document
* 6/2010 MZ gives a talk at the Perimeter Institute Toronto (June 24th)
* 6/2010 Emily Heaton receives NASA summer funding to work in MZ group.
* 6/2010 Paper on parameter estimation with asymptotic expansion for inspiral signals accepted in Phys. Rev. D. link
* 5/2010 Paper on gravitational waves rates accepted in CQG link
* 4/2010 MZ is awarded "Researcher of the Year" in the College of Arts and Sciences.picture
* 4/2010 MZ gives Physics Colloquium at the Astronomy department of New Mexico State University link .
* 3/2010 Initial agreement reached to bring the LIGO exibit to the ERAU Prescott campus.
* 3/2010 Research Student Marc LeBourdais selected for SURF reseach internship at Caltech for summer 2010.
* 3/2010 Long term visiting graduate student Salvatore Vitale awarded Postdoctoral position at NIKHEF in Amsterdam (NL).
* 12/2009 Former research student Adrian Akerson wins ERAU President Award (one student per campus wins it )
* 11/2009 Page 2 of Horizon magazine (Embry Riddle journal) features the research performed by MZ research students.
* 10/2009 S5 Year 1 LIGO paper on the search of unmodelled bursts accepted in PRD (M.Zanolin corresponding author) link
* 10/2009 S5 Year 1 LIGO paper on the search of high frequency unmodelled bursts accepted in PRD (B.Hughey M.Zanolin and Katsavounidis search leaders) link
* 09/2009 NASA funding awarded to Marc LeBourdais and Angelo Charbonnier to work with MZ NASA-ERAU space grant
* 08/2009 NSF grant awarded to MZ NSF0855567
* 06/2009 NSF travel funding awarded to MZ to participate to MG12 in Paris NSF0919034
* 01/2009 paper on directional reconstruction of GW bursts accepted in PRD


My research is in experimental general relativity, focusing mostly upon gravitational wave detection with the LIGO Scientific Collaboration. Topics I devote particular attention to are:

* Search for gravitational wave bursts.
photo, micho - Search for gravitational wave bursts from optical supernovae. When a sufficiently massive star dies, it can result in a massive explosion called a supernova. For decades we have been able to see the electromagnetic results of these explosions, but now, with the help of the data from interferometers, we hope to generate evidence for the gravitational waves emitted by these explosions and understand better their physical mechanism. We are developing an alghorithm that allows one to analyze weeks of interferometer data around the recorded time of the supernova optical signatures. The tool is to modify an existing algorithm currently used for all-sky searches of un-modelled GW transients, Coherent Waveburst. This code combines the signals from different interferomenters in a coherent way. We are customizing it to only be sensitive to signals from directions consistent with the supernova location, and track that location during deveral sideereal days. This approach is motivated by the desire to increase the sensitivity and solve one of the problems in observing GWs from optical supernovae: the large uncertainty in the exact time of emission of the GWs. The observed optical signal is not usually the beginning of the supernova light curve which might not be the exact time of emission of the gravitational wave. More explictly, if the mechanism that generates these waves is the acoustic bounce of the expanding gasses off the solid core it can reinitialize the fusion process and the visible explosion. This bounce occurs within seconds of the explosion, but because of the significant turmoil of these explosions, it can take up to a day for the first electromagnetic signals to escape the explosion. Then the fact that the first EM emissions are rarely observed directly can increase the time uncertainty to weeks. In this search weanalyze supernova events recorded by astronomers during the S6 data run.

* Estimation of parameters from gravitational wave transients and other high precision measurements.
High precision measurements in modern astrophysics and cosmology have fantastic goals that range from observing the properties of the cosmic microwave background to listen to the symphonies of the universe recorded in the perturbations of its metric. However how many of these effects are observable by LIGO? where should we focus brain and financial resources? The methodology described in Phys.Rev.D81:124048,2010 and Phys.Rev. D84 (2011) 104020 extend the standard results on parameter estimation based on the Fisher information matrix allow for a deeper understanding of the errors in estimating parameters from weak signals. The tool are asymptotic expansions inspired by the Dyson equation that allow one to calculate analytically the moments of an estimator as inverse powers of the signal to noise ratio (and/or the number of measurements if an experiment allows it). There are several applications of this methodology, for example: -how well can we estimate physical parameters (and the physics attached) and the direction of arrival from gravitational wave transients?
-can we (or will we) be able to distinguish between standard GR and alternative models of gravity?
- will we be able to detect non-Gaussianites in the CMB?

Calibration studies
S5 calibration in LIGO

Physics Colloquia

I am currently organizing the department colloquia.
Recent titles and abstracts are available here * 6/2012 Initial agreement reach for Nobel Laureate Steven Weinberg to deliver a Colloquium to Embry Riddle students (scheduled of oct 11 2012)


SPRING11: physics III Classical Electromagnetism, Statistical and thermal physics
FALL10:Physics III Classical Electromagnetism, physics II (gravitation,fluid dynamics,vibrations,thermodynamics)
SPRING10: PS250(Classical EM for Engineers), PS430 thermodynamics and stat mech
FALL09: PS219 (Classical EM for physicists),PS250 (Classical EM for Engineers), PS104 Thermo and EM for Pilots
SPING09: PS250 (Classical EM) 2 sections, PS150 Mechanics 1 section
FALL08: PS250 (Classical EM). PS220 Electromagnetism Laboratory
SPRING08: PS250 (Classical EM), PS150 (Newtonian Mechanics).
FALL07: PS250 (Classical EM).


Enrico Armelloni, University of Parma, spring 2008
Salvatore Vitale, University of Paris VI (Jusseau), fall 2009
Erik Lentz, University of Washington Seattle, December 2010
Rahul Biswas, Univesity of Texas Brownsville, Nov 2011
Peter Kalmus, Caltech, Nov 2011
Prof Marco Cavaglia, Univesity of Missisippi, Dec2010

Graduate Supervised Research

Marek Jan SzczepaƄczyk (PhD Candidate) web page

Undergraduate Supervised Research

Sophia Swalbe, Kiranijyot (Jasmine) Jill web page

Former Students: Salvatore Vitale, Ian Simpson, Angelo Charbonnier, Jessica Watts, Walt Williams, Marc LeBourdais, Ellie Jesse, and Lex Corpuz
photo photo photo

photo, micho Jessica Watts (measurement of Young's modulus in the
coating of LIGO mirrors). This research is done in collaboration
with the group of professor A. Greatarsson
at ERAU and Ira Gwyant and Prof Kabub at Stanford University.

photo, micho Ian Simpson direction reconstruction of Gravitational
wave transients with time delays
and Ian's senior thesis

* Angelo Charbonnier and Walt Williams, Acoustic Array Walt's senior thesis

* Coherent Waveburst Sensitivity Studies: Lex Corpuz has been working with the LIGO BURST review group in their S6 review of Coherent waveburst. The unfinished review document can be found here. A detailed overview of the work can be found here

Josh Smith - now graduate student at the University of Arizona.
Austin Davis - applying for graduate positions & jobs.
Erik Lentz (primary advisor Prof. Q. Bailey) - now graduate student at UW Seattle.
The students who worked on the acoustic array Anitra team

Useful Links

LIGO Laboratory
Condor tutorial
Data Analysis Software working group

LIGO research supported by grants NSF0855567 and NSF0919034
Marc LeBourdais and Angelo Charbonnier are supported by the NASA-ERAU space grant
Last Updated Stardate 2010.09.07