Formation of the Gravitational-Wave International Committee (GWIC)

Lee Samuel Finn, Northwestern

With several major new gravitational-wave detector projects nearing completion in Europe, Japan and the United States, there is a need for an organization where discussion regarding the international aspects of experimental gravitational-wave physics can take place.

Recognizing this need, the directors of the five major interferometer detector projects - ACIGA, GEO, LIGO, TAMA, and VIRGO - met on the two days immediately preceding the Gravitational-Wave Data Analysis Workshop to discuss the formation of such an organization. On Wednesday, 12 November, with these aims in mind, they formed the Gravitational-Wave International Committee, or GWIC.

GWIC's goals are to:

* Promote international cooperation in all phases of construction and exploitation of gravitational-wave detectors;

* Coordinate and support long-range planning for new instrument proposals, or proposals for instrument upgrades;

* Promote the development of gravitational-wave detection as a astronomical tool, exploiting especially the potential for coincident detection of gravitational-waves and other fields (photons, cosmic-rays, neutrinos);

* Organize regular, world-inclusive meetings and workshops for the study of problems related to the development and exploitation of new or enhanced gravitational-wave detectors, and to foster research and development of new technology;

* Represent the gravitational-wave detection community internationally, acting as its advocate;

* Provide a forum for the laboratory directors to regularly meet, discuss, and plan jointly the operations and direction of their laboratories and experimental gravitational-wave physics generally.

GWIC's initial membership includes representatives of all the interferometer detector projects (ACIGA, GEO, LIGO, TAMA, and VIRGO), all the acoustic detector communities (ALLEGRO, AURIGA, EXPLORER, GRAIL, NAUTILIS, and NIOBE), and the space-based detector community (LISA). GWIC has a home-page on the web donna/GWIC/GWIC_doc1.html,

where information on current and future activities can be found.

Jorge Pullin
Sun Feb 8 20:46:09 EST 1998