Ronald Drever, founding father of LIGO, passed away at age 85

The AEI mourns the Scottish physicist

March 15, 2017

On 7th of March 2017, Ronald W. P. Drever, professor of physics, passed away at age 85 in Edinburgh, Scotland. Together with Kip Thorne und Rainer Weiss he was one of the founding fathers of the LIGO gravitational-wave detectors.

At the University of Glasgow in the 1970s, Drever worked on the direct detection of gravitational waves with resonant detectors. After taking up a professorship at Caltech in 1979, he began his groundbreaking work for LIGO in 1984. He made several major contributions to LIGO's layout such as the use of Fabry-Perot arm cavities and power recycling to improve the detector sensitivity. He co-developed the Pound-Drever-Hall method which is crucial for laser stabilization.

Caltech has published an obituary for Drever.

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