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black hole

A representation of the curvature of space: two black holes orbiting each other create outward-propagating ripples of curvature called gravitational waves. Used by permission from LIGO.


In the News

LIGO oral histories now online. 

The LIGO interviews were conducted by Shirley K. Cohen as part of the Caltech Archives' Oral History Project. The original set were conceived as Series I. A second series was planned to begin after LIGO became operational (August 2002); however, current plans are to undertake Series II after the observatory's improved version, known as Advanced LIGO, begins operations, which is expected in 2014.

Interviews now available online are with the following subjects (with interview date): Barry Barish (1998), Vladimir Braginsky (1997), Peter Goldreich (1998), Gary Sanders (2001), Thomas Tombrello (1998), and Rainer Weiss (2000). These interviews have already been made available in print form, along with others that have not yet been approved for online access. A complete list of LIGO interviews may be obtained from the Archives advanced search (use string oral history LIGO).


Barry Barish

Shown above: Barry Barish, LIGO director from 1994 to 2005. Photo ID 10.44.1-111

The original LIGO partnership was formed between Caltech and MIT.  It was from the start the largest and most costly scientific project ever undertaken by Caltech.  Today it has expanded into an international endeavor with partners in Europe, Japan, India and Australia. As of this writing, 760 scientists from 11 countries are participating in the LSC—the LIGO Scientific Collaboration.

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