LIGO and Gravitational Waves II: Nobel Lecture, December 8, 2017
The observation of gravitational waves in the Laser Interferometer Gravitational‐Wave Observatory (LIGO) was announced on February 11, 2016,1 one hundred years after Einstein proposed the existence of gravitational waves.2, 3 This observation came after more than fifty years of experimental efforts to develop sensitive enough detectors to observe the tiny distortions in spacetime from gravitational waves. The Nobel Prize for 2017 was awarded to Rainer ("Rai") Weiss, Kip Thorne and myself "for decisive contributions to the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational waves." In fact, the success of LIGO follows from decades of R&D on the concept and techniques, which were covered in Rai Weiss' Nobel Lecture, followed by the design, construction and evolving the LIGO large‐scale interferometers to be more and more sensitive to gravitational waves. This work has been carried through the LIGO Laboratory and the scientific exploitation through the LIGO Scientific Collaboration, having more than a thousand scientists, who author the gravitational wave observational papers. In addition, many others made important contributions to the science of black holes, numerical relativity, etc.
© 2019 The Nobel Foundation. Received: September 12, 2018; Published online: December 10, 2018; Issue Online: 09 January 2019. The publisher thanks the Nobel Foundation, Stockholm, for the permission to publish this lecture. Barry C. Barish – Nobel Lecture. NobelPrize.org. Nobel Media AB 2018. Fri. 7 Dec 2018. The authors declare no conflict of interest.