Barry Barish was awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics ’for decisive contributions to the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational waves’, along with American physicists Rainer Weiss and Kip S. Thorne. Barish became LIGO Principal Investigator in 1994. Under his leadership, LIGO was evolved into the exquisitely sensitive instrument that made the first-ever detections of gravitational waves in 2015.
In an earlier Fermilab experiment, Barish was among the first to observe the weak neutral current, a linchpin of the electroweak unification theories of Glashow, Salam, and Weinberg. He directed MACRO at Gran Sasso that provided important confirmatory evidence that neutrinos have mass and oscillate, and from 2005 to 2013, Barish directed the Global Design Effort for the International Linear Collider (ILC), a proposed next generation particle collider.
Barish received his BA and PhD at UC Berkeley, has been a Caltech faculty member since 1963, and joined the UC Riverside faculty in 2018. He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and has received many other awards and honorary degrees.
Linde Professor of Physics, Emeritus, California Institute of Technology Distinguished Professor of Physics, University of California Riverside
Nobel Prize in Physics
Jointly with Kip S Thorne; divided with Rainer Weiss