Gravitational-wave posters go on sale with share of profits to aid international workshops

13 February 2017

A set of posters to celebrate the first detection of gravitational waves has been launched by the IOP and a team of entrepreneurs, one year on from the announcement of the discovery.

Gravitational-wave posters go on sale with share of profits to aid international workshops

The limited edition set of posters went on sale on 11 February, the anniversary of the announcement by the Laser Interferometry Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) that they had detected gravitational waves resulting from the merger of two black holes.

In an arrangement between the group of entrepreneurs and the IOP, 30% of the profits will go to support the Institute’s entrepreneurship workshops, part of its Physics for Development programme, with the team behind the venture looking to raise £25,000.

They are available to buy from crowdfunding site Indiegogo.com, with prices ranging from £5 for a digital copy of one poster to £100 for one of a limited number of printed posters signed by three UK-based researchers associated with LIGO: Professor Martin Hendry, Professor James Hough and Professor Sheila Rowan.

Joshua Summers, entrepreneur and founder of the campaign, said: “For me, physics is the best method we have to understand and connect with the universe we find ourselves in. Leaps forward in the subject, such as the detection of gravitational waves by the LIGO team, are incredibly exciting and I think they deserve to be celebrated.”

The IOP’s head of international, Tajinder Panesor, commended the innovation behind the campaign, and said the funding will greatly benefit the physics for development programme. “We’re pleased to be partnering up with Joshua and his team for this project,” he said. “Not only is the project pairing art with physics to bring the wonder of gravitational waves to a broad audience, but it will also help us to provide opportunities for scientists and engineers in low- and middle-income countries to develop their entrepreneurial skills.”

The Paris-based designer of the poster, Louise Métvier, said she was delighted to be supporting the IOP development programme. “The individuals who attend these workshops have the potential to be key engines for sustainable growth and positive change. The work of the IOP increases the probability that this happens and I think that this is an important endeavour to support,” she said.