The 9th series will feature Prof. David Reitzer, Executive Director of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) Laboratory, California Institute of Technology (Caltech), USA .
David Reitze holds joint positions as the Executive Director of the LIGO Laboratory and Research Professor of Physics at the California Institute of Technology. He obtained a Ph. D. in Physics from the University of Texas at Austin in 1990 and spent more than 20 years as a Professor of Physics at the University of Florida before joining the faculty at Caltech. His research focuses on the development of ultrasensitive gravitational-wave detectors and gravitational-wave astronomy.
Reitze was elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society (2006), Optica (2015), and the American Association of the Advancement of Science (2019). He was awarded the National Academy of Sciences Award for Scientific Discovery in 2017 for his leadership role in LIGO. He is a member and former Spokesperson of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration that received numerous awards for the first direct detection of gravitational waves in 2015, including the Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics (2016), the Gruber Prize for Cosmology (2016), the American Astronomical Society Bruno Rossi Prize (2017), the Royal Astronomical Society Group Achievement Award ‘A’ (2017), the Princess Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Achievement (2017), and the Einstein Medal from the Einstein Society of Switzerland (2017). He serves on numerous advisory committees for the international physics and astronomy communities.
In his talk entitled " Understanding the Universe Through Gravitational-Wave Observations ”, Prof. David Reitzer will give an overview of gravitational-wave astrophysics, highlight some of the most exciting discoveries made to date, and discuss how we detect gravitational waves with LIGO using really big interferometers capable of sensing distances much smaller than atoms and even protons and neutrons.