Understanding our Universe with Gravitational Waves

3.8.2020 20:00 CEST Talk by Barry Barish, Nobel Prize in Physics Laureate 2017. The talk will be broadcast on YouTube. After the lecture, Barry will answer your questions! Type them on Slido.

barry_barishFor photo, CV and more look at BB’s home page

Barry Barish studied physics at the University of California, Berkeley and completed his Ph.D. in experimental particle physics in 1962. He moved to Caltech for a postdoc position and continued his rich scientific and academic life becoming Professor of Physics in 1972, the Maxine and Ronald Linde Professor of Physics in 1991 and Emeritus in 2005. He joined the faculty at the University of California, Riverside in 2018.

Barry worked on experiments in SLAC and Fermilab where neutrino experiments revealed
clear signs of neutral currents. In 1980 he directed the MACRO experiment looking for magnetic monopoles and neutrino interactions. Any work on experiments for the SSC were sadly stopped upon cancellation of the SSC project in 1993.

Barry then became the LIGO principal investigator in 1994 bringing about considerable changes in the LIGO technical design and in the scale of scientific collaboration leading successfully up to establishing the LIGO Scientific Collaboration (LSC) in 1997. That same year Barry became the Director of LIGO.

“Initial LIGO” developed to the “Advanced LIGO” which already during the first run in September 2015 detected the merger of two large black holes. The success of the LIGO experiment was so ground-breaking that it was recognized with the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics, awarded to Barry and his colleagues Rainer Weiss and Kip S. Thorne.

Barry is a great example of someone who took a vision, an idea, into reality, producing fundamental scientific results that will have an effect on humankind.

The physics community is grateful to the LIGO team for the gravitational wave discovery, in no small part thanks to Barry’s perseverance and leadership skills. It is extremely rewarding for the particle physics community that the gravitational waves were discovered partly thanks to his background in particle physics experiments and collaborations.

The Story Continues: From 2006 to 2013 Barry led  the Global Design Effort of the International Linear Collider: an amazing project that is still in the future

Additional resources:
• B.B. home page – Caltech
UC Riverside
Paper about Neutral Currents 1975: Barish B. C. et al: Neutral Currents in High-Energy Neutrino Collisions: An Experimental Search, PRL 34 (1975) 538
MACRO experiment
Nobel prize
LIGO Scientific Collaboration
Linear Collider Collaboration Collaboration