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RAINER WEISS, SB '55, PHD '62
Professor of Physics, Emeritus
PHONE: [Office] 617-253-3527 [LIGO Lab] 617-253-4824
ASSISTANT: Marie Woods (617) 253-4824
- 1955 - SB, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- 1962 - PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- 1960-1961: Instructor of Physics, Tufts University
- 1961-1962: Assistant Professor of Physics, Tufts University
- 1962-1964: Research Associate in Physics, Princeton University
- 1964-1967: Asistant Professor of Physics, MIT
- 1967-1973: Associate Professor of Physics, MIT
- 1973-2001: Professor of Physics, MIT
- 2001-present: Professor of Physics Emeritus, MIT
Selected Awards and Honors
- 1998: American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Fellow
- 2000: National Academy of Sciences, Member
- 2006: Gruber Prize in Cosmology
- 2007: American Physical Society, Einstein Prize
- 2016: Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics
- 2016: Gruber Prize in Cosmology
- 2016: Shaw Prize in Astronomy
- 2016: Kavli Prize in Astrophysics
Selected News Articles
- Rainer Weiss wins Kavli Prize in Astrophysics [MIT News Office, 6.2.2016]
- Rainer Weiss awarded the Shaw Prize in Astronomy [MIT News Office, 6.1.2016]
- LIGO researchers awarded Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics [MIT News Office, 5.4.2016]
- Scientists make first direct detection of gravitational waves [MIT News Office, 2.11.2016]
- Gravitational waves detected 100 years after Einstein’s prediction [MIT News Office, 2.11.2016]
- Q&A: Rainer Weiss on LIGO’s origins [MIT News Office, 2.11.2016]
- MIT physicist shares team award for 'Big Bang' research [MIT News Office, 9.6.2006]
- Operational milestone scheduled for LIGO [MIT News Office, 10.18.2000]
- LIGO project to provide a new window to the universe [MIT News Office, 3.29.2000]
- Catch the wave [MIT News Office, 3.13.1996]
- Notes from the Lab [MIT News Office, 5.10.1995]
Writing this at 73 and having shed the august responsibilities of a full fledged faculty, it is natural to be retrospective rather than to look at prospects.
Currently working on the LIGO project, a joint Caltech and MIT effort, to observe gravitational waves and use them to study gravitation and astrophysics. My role now is to be the equivalent of a grad student. Very much enjoy this. Over the years have worked on cosmological studies with Robert Dicke and David Wilkinson at Princeton. Began physics in atomic beams with John King and Jerrold Zacharias at MIT. If you are really interested, you can read the standard stuff here [PDF].
RAINER WEISS (NAS) is a Professor Emeritus at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Previously Dr. Weiss served as an assistant physics professor at Tufts University and has been an adjunct professor at Louisiana State University since 2001. Dr. Weiss is known for his pioneering measurements of the spectrum of the cosmic microwave background radiation, his inventions of the monolithic silicon bolometer and the laser interferometer gravitational wave detector and his roles as a co-founder and an intellectual leader of both the COBE (microwave background) Project and the LIGO (gravitational-wave detection) Project. He has received numerous scientific and group achievement awards from NASA, an MIT excellence in teaching award, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, the National Space Club Science Award, the Medaille de l’ADION Observatoire de Nice, the Gruber Cosmology Prize, and the Einstein Prize of the American Physical Society. Dr. Weiss is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Physical Society, The American Academy of Arts and Sciences; and he is a member of the American Astronomical Society, the New York Academy of Sciences, and Sigma Xi. He received his B.S. and Ph.D. in physics from MIT. Dr. Weiss is a member of the NAS and has served on nine NRC committees from 1986 to 2007 including the Committee on NASA Astrophysics Performance Assessment; the Panel on Particle, Nuclear, and Gravitational-wave Astrophysics; and the Task Group on Space Astronomy and Astrophysics.
- “Detector Description and Performance for the First Coincidence Observations between LIGO and GEO,” The LIGO Scientific Collaboration, Nucl. Instrum. Methods A, 517, 154-179 (2004).
- “Analysis of LIGO data for gravitational waves from binary neutron stars,” LIGO Scientific Collaboration, Phys Rev D 69, 122001 (2004).
- “Setting upper limits on the strength of periodic gravitational waves using the first science data from the GEO600 and LIGO detectors,” LIGO Scientific Collaboration, Phys Rev D 69, 082004 (2004).
- “Analysis of First LIGO Science data for stochastic gravitational waves,” LIGO Scientific Collaboration, Accepted by Phys Rev D (2004).
- “First upper limits from LIGO on gravitational wave bursts,” LIGO Scientific Collaboration, Phys Rev D 69, 102001 (2004).
- Complete publication list [PDF].
Last updated on September 27, 2016 2:24 PM