LIGO Scientific Collaboration

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LIGO Scientific Collaboration
LIGO Scientific Collaboration logo.gif
Formation 1997[1]
Headquarters California Institute of Technology and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, United States
991 scientists[2]
LSC Spokesperson
Gabriela González
Executive Director of LIGO
David Reitze
Award(s) Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics (2016)
Gruber Prize in Cosmology (2016)
Enrico Fermi Prize (2016)

The LIGO Scientific Collaboration (LSC) is a scientific collaboration of international physics institutes and research groups dedicated to the search for gravitational waves. The LSC was established in 1997, under the leadership of Barry Barish.[3] Its mission is to ensure equal scientific opportunity for individual participants and institutions by organizing research, publications, and all other scientific activities, and it includes scientists from both LIGO Laboratory and collaborating institutions. Barish appointed Rainer Weiss as the first spokesperson.

LSC members have access to the US-based Advanced LIGO detectors in Hanford, Washington and in Livingston, Louisiana, as well as the GEO 600 detector in Sarstedt, Germany. Under an agreement with the European Gravitational Observatory (EGO), LSC members also have access to data from the Virgo detector in Pisa, Italy. While the LSC and the Virgo Collaboration are separate organizations, they cooperate closely and are referred to collectively as "LVC".[4]

The current LSC Spokesperson is Gabriela González from Louisiana State University. The Executive Director of the LIGO Laboratory is David Reitze from the University of Florida.

On 11 February 2016, the LIGO and Virgo collaborations[a] announced that they succeeded in making the first direct gravitational wave observation on 14 September 2015.[5][6][7][8]

In 2016, Barish received the Enrico Fermi Prize "for his fundamental contributions to the formation of the LIGO and LIGO-Virgo scientific collaborations and for his role in addressing challenging technological and scientific aspects whose solution led to the first detection of gravitational waves". [9]

Collaboration members[edit]

Membership of LIGO Scientific Collaboration as of November 2015 is detailed in the table below.[2]

Institution Country Members Website
Abilene Christian University United States 2
Albert-Einstein-Institute, Hannover Germany 79 Observational Relativity and Cosmology, Laser Interferometry and Gravitational Wave Astronomy
Albert-Einstein-Institute, Potsdam-Golm Germany 21 Astrophysical and Cosmological Relativity
American University United States 4
Andrews University United States 6 Andrew University LIGO
Australian National University Australia 16 Centre for Gravitational Physics
California Institute of Technology United States 93 LIGO Lab, Caltech LIGO Astrophysics
California State University, Fullerton United States 15 Gravitational Wave Physics and Astronomy Center
Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics Canada 4 Gravitational waves
Cardiff University United Kingdom 25 Gravitational Physics Group
Carleton College United States 13
Charles Sturt University United States 1
Chennai Mathematical Institute India 1
College of William & Mary United States 3
Columbia University United States 8
Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University United States 8
Eötvös Loránd University Hungary 9 Eötvös Gravity Research Group
Georgia Institute of Technology United States 20 Center for Relativistic Astrophysics
Goddard Space Flight Center United States 5
Hanford Observatory United States 38 LIGO Hanford
Hanyang University South Korea 1
Hobart and William Smith Colleges United States 4
IAP, Nizhny Novgorod Russia 8
Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar India 3
IndIGO India 59 LIGO India
INPE Brazil 6
IPR-Bhat India 10
IUCAA India 14
Kenyon College United States 3
King's College London United Kingdom 1
Korea Institute of Science and Technology Information South Korea 4
Leibniz Universität Hannover Germany 8
Livingston Observatory United States 35 LIGO Livingston
Louisiana State University United States 16 Experimental & Theoretical General Relativity
Massachusetts Institute of Technology United States 35 MIT LIGO
Monash University Australia 9
Montana State University United States 3 Gravitational Physics at MSU
Montclair State University United States 3
Moscow State University Russia 11
National Institute of Mathematical Sciences South Korea 4
National Tsing Hua University Taiwan 3
Northwestern University United States 16 LIGO Scientific Collaboration
Penn State University United States 7 Penn State LIGO group Institute for Gravitation and the Cosmos
Pusan National University South Korea 3
Rochester Institute of Technology United States 13 Center for Computational Relativity and Gravitation
RRCAT, Indore India 9
Rutherford Appleton Laboratory United Kingdom 2 STFC Advanced LIGO
Seoul National University South Korea 1
Sonoma State University United States 5
Southern University United States 1
Stanford University United States 18
Syracuse University United States 31 Syracuse University Gravitational Wave Group
Texas Tech University United States 8
The University of Melbourne Australia 3
The University of Sheffield United Kingdom 5
Tata Institute of Fundamental Research India 5
Trinity University United States 2
Tsinghua University China 5
University of Alabama in Huntsville United States 2
University of Adelaide Australia 4 Optics and Photonics Group
University of Birmingham United Kingdom 29 Gravitational Wave Group
University of Brussels Belgium 2
University of Cambridge United Kingdom 6 Gravitational waves
University of Chicago United States 4
University of Florida United States 26 LIGO at the University of Florida
University of Glasgow United Kingdom 61 Institute for Gravitational Research
University of Hamburg Germany 6
University of Maryland United States 7 Gravitation Experiment Group
University of Michigan United States 10 Michigan Gravitational Wave Group
University of Minnesota United States 5 LIGO at Minnesota
University of Mississippi United States 10 The LIGO Team at The University of Mississippi
University of Oregon United States 10
University of Sannio Italy 10
University of Southampton United Kingdom 2
University of Strathclyde United Kingdom 3
University of Szeged Hungary 3
University of Texas Rio Grande Valley United States 22 Center for Gravitational Wave Astronomy
University of the Balearic Islands Spain 9 Relativity and Gravitation Group
University of Washington United States 2
University of the West of Scotland United Kingdom 4
University of Western Australia Australia 21
University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee United States 27 LIGO Scientific Collaboration Research Group
USC Information Sciences Institute United States 3
Washington State University United States 3
West Virginia University United States 4
Whitman College United States 3


  1. ^ The 11 February 2016 announcement team were Kip Thorne, David Reitze, Gabriela González, and Rainer Weiss.


  1. ^ "About the LSC". LIGO Scientific Collaboration. Retrieved 5 May 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "LSC/Virgo Census". myLIGO. Retrieved 28 November 2015. 
  3. ^ Committee on Setting Priorities for NSF-Sponsored Large Research Facility Projects, Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy, Policy and Global Affairs, Board on Physics and Astronomy, Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences, National Research Council. (2004). Setting Priorities for Large Research Facility Projects Supported by the National Science Foundation. National Academies Press. pp. 129–136. 
  4. ^ Gabriela González, Fulvio Ricci, LIGO Scientific Collaboration, Virgo Collaboration (2015-12-06). "Open call for partnership for the EM identification and follow-up of GW candidate events" (PDF). Retrieved 25 May 2016. 
  5. ^ Twilley, Nicola. "Gravitational Waves Exist: The Inside Story of How Scientists Finally Found Them". The New Yorker. ISSN 0028-792X. Retrieved 2016-02-11. 
  6. ^ Abbott, B.P.; et al. (2016). "Observation of Gravitational Waves from a Binary Black Hole Merger". Phys. Rev. Lett. 116: 061102. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.116.061102. PMID 26918975. 
  7. ^ Naeye, Robert (11 February 2016). "Gravitational Wave Detection Heralds New Era of Science". Sky and Telescope. Retrieved 11 February 2016. 
  8. ^ Castelvecchi, Davide; Witze, Alexandra (11 February 2016). "Einstein's gravitational waves found at last". Nature News. doi:10.1038/nature.2016.19361. Retrieved 11 February 2016. 
  9. ^ "2016 Enrico Fermi Prize". Società Italiana di Fisica. 

External links[edit]