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On the Shoulders of Giants

Saturday, June 4, 2016
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Acknowledging the scientists who blazed intellectual trails before him, Isaac Newton wrote, “If I have seen a little further it was by standing on the shoulders of giants.” In this special annual series, we invite our audience to stand on the shoulders of a modern-day giant. This year, we are honored to present an address by a titan of physics, Barry Barish. Professor Barish served as the Director of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) from 1997-2005 and created the LIGO Scientific Collaboration. This year—one hundred years after Einstein’s prediction of gravitational waves—Professor Barish and the entire LIGO team announced a dramatic milestone: the first direct detection of gravitational waves and the first observation of the merger of a pair of black holes. Join us for Professor Barish’s 2016 On the Shoulders of Giants address, “From Einstein to Gravitational Waves and Beyond.”


This program is part of the Big Ideas Series, made possible with support from the John Templeton Foundation.

Hosted by the Simons Foundation.

Sponsored by Annals of Physics, Elsevier.



Barry BarishPhysicist

Barry Barish is an experimental physicist and a Linde Professor of Physics, emeritus at Caltech. He became the Principal Investigator of LIGO in 1994 and was LIGO Director from 1997-2005. Barish led the effort through the approval of funding by the NSF National Science Board in 1994, and the construction and commissioning of the LIGO interferometers in Livingston, LA and Hanford, WA in 1997.

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