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David Reitze is an American laser physicist who is Professor of Physics at the University of Florida and served as the scientific spokesman of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) experiment in 2007-2011. In August 2011, he took a leave of absence from the University of Florida to be the Executive Director of LIGO , stationed at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California. He obtained his BA in 1983 from Northwestern University, his PhD in Physics from the University of Texas at Austin in 1990, and had positions at Bell Communications Research and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, before taking his faculty position at the University of Florida. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and the Optical Society of America.
An expert in ultrafast optics and laser spectroscopy, he now specialises in laser-based interferometric gravitational wave detection. This includes the development of new interferometer topologies for next generation gravitational wave detectors, investigations of thermal loading in passive and active optical elements, development of high power optical components, and the design, construction and operation of the LIGO interferometers.
As Director of the LIGO lab, one his main efforts has been planning the proposed extension of the LIGO network of detectors to include one in India.
- Henderson, Mark (20 August 2009). "‘Non-discovery’ of space-time ripples opens door to birth of the Universe". The Times. Retrieved 2009-11-15.
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