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Chronological Thread 
  • From: ortvay AT (Ortvay kollokvium)
  • Subject: [Fizinfo] Ortvay kollokvium
  • Date: Mon, 21 Sep 2009 09:48:10 +0200 (CEST)
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  • List-id: ELFT HÍRADÓ <>

ELTE Fizika Intezet


2009. szeptember 24. , csutortok, 15 orakor
Az ELTE Pazmany Peter s. 1/A alatti epuleteben a foldszinti 0.83 eloadoban

Rainer Weiss
(Prof. Emeritus, MIT):
"Interferometric gravitational wave detection"

Kivonatos ismertetes:

Basic ideas about gravitational waves
How interferometers detect gravitational waves
Noise sources and sensitivity limits
Current performance of the instruments
Types of gravitational wave sources
Some interesting upper limits
Hopes for the future

Rainer (Rai) Weiss is professor of physics emeritus at MIT.

Weiss was born in Berlin, Germany, in 1932. Fleeing political unrest, his
family moved first to Prague, in late 1932, and then to the United States, in
1938; his youth was spent in New York City, where he attended Columbia
School. He studied at MIT, receiving his B.S. in 1955 and Ph.D. in 1962 from
Jerrold Zacharias. He taught at Tufts University in 1960-62, was a
scholar at Princeton University from 1962-64, and then joined the faculty at
MIT in 1964.

Weiss has brought two fields of fundamental physics research from birth to
maturity: characterization of the cosmic background radiation, and
interferometric gravitational wave observation.
He made pioneering measurements of the spectrum of the cosmic microwave
backgroundradiation, and then was co-founder and an intellectual leader of
NASA COBE(microwave background) satellite.
Weiss also invented the interferometric gravitational wave detector, and
co-founded theNSF LIGO (gravitational-wave detection) Project. Both of these
efforts couple remarkable challenges in instrument science with physics of
deepest importance for our understanding of the Universe.
Weiss contributed to LIGO through:
* his inception of the measurement technique
* recognition and delineation of the experimental challenges
* building of early prototype instruments
* leadership of the effort to propose full-scale observatories
* engineering of the world's largest ultra-high vacuum system to house the
* commissioning of the initial detectors
* forming and first leadership of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration
* mentorship of many of the physicists leading the field.

1967-1973 Associate Professor of Physics, M.I.T.
1973-2001 Professor of Physics, M.I.T.
2001- Adjunct Professor of Physics, L.S.U
2001- Professor of Physics,Emeritus, M.I.T.

Experimental Atomic Physics, Atomic Clocks, Laser Physics,
Experimental Gravitation, Millimeter and Sub - millimeter Astronomy, Cosmic
Background Measurements,
Major Projects:
Atomic Clock development,
Balloon program to measure Cosmic Background Radiation,
Science Working Group Chairman, COBE satellite program,
Laser Interferometer Gravitational - Wave Observatory (LIGO)

Professional Societies:
American Association for the Advancement of Science (Fellow)
American Physical Society (Fellow)
American Astronomical Society
New York Academy of Sciences
American Academy of Arts and Sciences (Fellow)
National Academy of Sciences (Member)
Sigma Xi

MIT, Baker Award for Excellence in Teaching (1968)
NASA, Achievement Award (Monolithic Bolometers) (1983)
NASA/GSFC, Group Achievement Award (COBE) (1990)
NASA, Exceptional Scienti?c Achievement Medal (COBE) (1991)
NASA, Group Achievement Medal (COBE) (1991)
National Space Club, Science Award (COBE Team) (1994)
John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship (2000)
Medaille de l'ADION Observatoire de Nice (2003)
Gruber Cosmology Prize as part of COBE Team (2006)
Einstein Prize of the American Physical Society (2007)

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