Hello! Here I am writing the third GraWIToN newsletter and the first thing that it comes into my mind is that time is flying! Happily this is because so many interesting things happened since last year and I guess you already know the most exciting one: the first detection of gravitational waves! It still gives me chills when I remember David Reitze announcing the detection and saying the famous “Ladies and gentlemen, we have detected gravitational waves. We did it!”. I heard those words in a local press conference organized by the Albert Einstein Institute in Hannover. It was amazing! After the announcement we had interesting talks and interviews with many journalists, and of course a long and happy celebration. After this day much more attention was brought to our field making it even more exciting to work with.

Another remarkable thing that happened since my last newsletter was my secondment activity at Virgo, a gravitational wave detector operated in Cascina, Italy. In total I spent 3 months there, working on the commissioning activities for the next run of the detector. It was a very intense experience and I could learn so many different things. The dynamics of the work on the detector is very different from the one at the institute and it was nice to see how a big science project works. Also, the activities on the site are very connected to each other which made me develop a wider view of the field and allowed me to work with a great team of motivated and friendly people, which makes science more fun even when things do not work as you wish (common thing J). This period was also important for my PhD since I could get in touch with the real challenges of implementing the techniques that we develop at the Albert Einstein Institute on a large scale experiment. And of course, the best of all: I could enjoy Italy! I cannot deny that it felt like home in such a lovely country with friendly and funny people… and the food was awesome!

Among other trips, I participated in two more GraWIToN schools (one in L’Aquila, Italy, and another one in Birmigham, UK), and two Max Planck Research Schools on Gravitational Wave Astronomy, in Scotland and Spain.

But the fun does not stop here! I just started a new experiment in my PhD and in November there will be last GraWIToN school in Italy, so stay tuned for the next newsletter!

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