Thorlabs Special Speaker: Dr. David Reitze, Executive Director of LIGO Laboratory


9 to 10 a.m., Oct. 12, 2022

"The Gravitational Wave Revolution"


Thorlabs is excited to announce that Dr. David Reitze, Executive Director at LIGO Laboratory and Research Professor at Caltech will be joining us for a very innovating presentation focused on gravitational waves!

Detections of gravitational waves (‘ripples in spacetime’) produced by colliding black holes and neutron stars in the past six years have produced startling revelations about the nature of the high energy Universe.  We are beginning to answer fundamental and long standing questions about the nature of black holes, neutron stars, gravity, and even the origins of the heaviest elements found in nature. 

Enabling these discoveries are interferometers capable of measuring exquisitely small strains produced by passing gravitational waves.  In this presentation, I’ll give an overview of gravitational-wave astrophysics, highlight some of the most exciting discoveries, and discuss how we detect gravitational waves with LIGO using really big interferometers capable of sensing displacements to a precision of better than 0.000000000000000001 meters. 


Dr. David Reitze
Executive Director
LIGO Laboratory

David Reitze is currently the Executive Director of the LIGO Laboratory and a Research Professor of Physics at the California Institute of Technology. He obtained a Ph. D. in Physics from the University of Texas at Austin, joining the University of Florida faculty in 1993 in the Physics Department where he remained until 2021. He was appointed as the Executive Director of the LIGO Laboratory at the Caltech in 2011 where he currently oversees the scientific and engineering staff responsible for building and operating the LIGO Observatories in Hanford, WA and Livingston, LA. His research focuses on the development of ultrasensitive gravitational-wave detectors and gravitational-wave astronomy.