Workshop Motivation

With the observation of gravitational waves from binary black holes a new era in astronomy has begun. Gravitational and Classical Astronomy will together observe highly energetic and transient phenomena in the Universe. The goal of this workshop is two-fold: (a) to explore how upcoming observations of such processes can help us understand the physics of at the extreme – strong gravitational fields, ultra-high densities, temperatures and magnetic fields and (b) to discuss the ultimate science goals for this emerging, synergistic field and what future detectors and telescopes would be needed to make a step change in the scientific questions we can answer with such observations. The workshop will consist of panel discussions organized around a small number of presentations. The workshop aims to identify important areas for research and foster new collaborations based on the deliberations of the workshop.

General Information

The workshop will be held at The Atherton Hotel in downtown State College beginning Thursday, December 1 and concluding around noon on Saturday, December 3, 2016. Please see travel and hotel information below.

Workshop Program

The workshop schedule is now available.

A free lecture titled "Einstein, Black Holes and Cosmic Chirps" will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, December 1 in 111 Wartik Lab on the Penn State University Park campus. This lecture will be presented by Barry Barish, Linde Professor of Physics, Emeritus, at the California Institute of Technology.

Lecture Poster

Hotel Information

A block of rooms has been reserved at The Atherton Hotel and will be held until October 31, 2016. Please use the reservation code "Physics at the Extreme" when making reservations.

The Atherton Hotel
125 South Atherton Street
State College, PA 16801
(814) 231-2100 or 800-832-0132 for reservations

Single occupancy: $90/night plus 8.5% tax
Double occupancy: $100/night plus 8.5% tax

Credit Authorization Form

The block will be held until October 31, 2016.

Travel Information

State College is located in central Pennsylvania and is within easy driving distance (approximately 2-4 hours) from Baltimore, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Washington DC.


University Park airport (airport code SCE) serves State College and the surrounding community. Three major carriers offer service from University Park Airport: US Airways from Philadelphia, United Airlines from Washington, D.C. and Delta from Detroit. For additional information on University Park Airport, please visit: University Park Airport Information. The University Park Airport is located 5.5 miles from the Penn State University Park Campus. Car rental is also available from University Park Airport through Avis, Hertz and National Car Rental.


Bus service by Greyhound or MegaBus is available from Pittsburgh and Philadelphia to State College. Please see their websites for schedule information or to make reservations.


There are several taxi services available in State College:


Directions from your location to University Park, PA 16802 can be obtained from Map Quest or Google Maps.

Parking on the Penn State University Park Campus

All visitors who wish to park on campus must have a parking permit. Permits can be obtained from the Penn State Parking Office (814-863-1436) located on the ground-level of the Eisenhower Parking Deck or from the Centre County/Penn State Visitor Center located at 800 East Park Avenue; 814-231-8123.

Penn State Maps

To view or print a University Park Campus map, please visit: University Park Campus Maps. The administrative office for the Institute for Gravitation and the Cosmos is located at 321D Whitmore Lab. If you have questions please contact the Institute at (814) 863-9605.

State College, Pennsylvania

To learn more about downtown State College, please visit