LIGO Livingston to become Historic Site

Local News

One of two observatories in the United States that made the first direct observations of gravitational waves will be designated a historical physics site by the American Physical Society Wednesday June 20 in Livingston, La.

The Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) which sits on LSU property has conducted research continuously over two decades with LSU faculty and students serving as major contributors.

“Achieving this major scientific breakthrough of being the first to detect gravitational waves took a tremendous amount of vision and perseverance by LSU faculty and administrators including then-Chancellor James Wharton and state leaders. LSU continues to be a place where great discoveries are made,” said LSU President F. King Alexander.

LIGO Livingston is one of two observatories in the U.S. that made the first direct observations of gravitational waves emanating from violent and distant astronomical events. The two observatories, one in Louisiana and the other in Hanford, Wash., will receive plaques to recognize the extraordinary efforts that led to this detection.

The citation on the plaques reads:

On September 14, 2015, LIGO interferometers at Livingston, Louisiana, and Hanford, Washington, made the first direct observation of gravitational waves. The precision required to detect these tiny disturbances in space-time, caused by merging black holes, was made possible by the coordinated labor of over one thousand scientific and technical workers. This and a companion plaque at the other LIGO site recognize their contributions to this historic detection.”

The special ceremony to commemorate this special event is set to be held at 11 a.m. and there will be a live stream of the event below here.

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