• March 8Nor'Easter Causes All Pelham Schools to Close on 3/7

  • March 4Speech Team nets 11 State Championship qualifiers; 2 advance to Natl Championship @ Ft Lauderdale & 2 to Nationals in DC

  • March 4Nor'Easter hits; Iona Prep loses power; PMHS takes over as last-minute host for 3/4 Speech tournament

The Pel Mel

EPOP- Exciting People of Pelham: Senior Sam Imperato Interns with Nobel Prize-Winning Astrophysicists

Senior+Sam+Imperato+%28bottom+right%29+appears+with+the+team+of+astrophysicists+with+whom+he+is+interning.
Senior Sam Imperato (bottom right) appears with the team of astrophysicists with whom he is interning.

Senior Sam Imperato (bottom right) appears with the team of astrophysicists with whom he is interning.

Photo courtesy of Sam Imperato

Photo courtesy of Sam Imperato

Senior Sam Imperato (bottom right) appears with the team of astrophysicists with whom he is interning.

Quinn Humphrey, Senior, Co-News Editor

There are usually two types of students that study physics at PMHS: those who enjoy every second of it and those who struggle to understand the complex equations and theorems that surround the topic. However, there are a select few that go beyond the two categories; some students reach new heights that high level scholars would kill for. One of these esteemed individuals is senior Sam Imperato.

Since the August following his sophomore year, Sam has been working side by side with some of greatest physics minds at The Laser Interferometer Gravitational – Wave Observatory (LIGO), more specifically at the Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Exploration (CIERA) at Northwestern University. This facility is used to study detect and cosmic gravitational waves and to develop gravitational wave observations as an astronomical tool. In simpler terms, it is a massive observatory that allows for scientists to observe and study cosmic changes and fluctuations.
Sam said, “I was introduced to my mentor, and I showed her… what I had done in the science research program. Shortly after, she invited me to join her LIGO group. This was actually a month before the first detection of gravitational waves, so I joined at the perfect time.”

LIGO was initially created by a group of scientists in the 1960’s to test a component of Albert Einstein’s “Theory of Relativity.” Since then, its facility and programs have undergone many changes and advancements in order to push the boundaries of modern physics. In September of 2015, shortly after Sam started working with the organization, LIGO began its first formal observations into space. Following their initial observations, the LIGO Scientific Collaboration and Virgo Collaboration published papers about the first detection of gravitational waves that month. Reports of cosmic waves and shifts became more frequent after the initial discovery and propelled LIGO into becoming a leader of special study and analysis. Three head scientists at LIGO, Rainer Weiss, Barry C. Barish, and Kip S. Thorne, were presented the Nobel Prize of Physics in 2017 for their contributions to the LIGO project and for the discovery of gravitational waves through the use of the observatory scanners.

Sam values the importance of physics within our world today and hopes to continue his passion in the future. “I want to major in astrophysics, and I hope to do astrophysics research as a career,” he said.

People like Sam show us that no matter how much we think we know, there is always something new to learn and discover. For Sam, not ev

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
The School Newspaper of Pelham Memorial High School
EPOP- Exciting People of Pelham: Senior Sam Imperato Interns with Nobel Prize-Winning Astrophysicists