Professor Bernard Schutz FRS

Bernard Schutz is a theoretical physicist who has made many contributions to gravitational wave science and detection on Earth and in space. He showed that gravitational wave signals are yardsticks for cosmic distances (generally called standard sirens), and demonstrated how to use them to measure the expansion rate of the universe. Among his other contributions, Schutz laid the foundations for the data analysis methods that are used to discover these weak signals in detector noise and to measure their properties.

Born in the USA, Schutz obtained his PhD at Caltech (supervised by Kip Thorne) and in 1974 joined Cardiff University as a lecturer. In 1995 he moved to Germany as a founding Director of the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute). After retiring in Germany in 2014, he returned to Cardiff University, where he became the first director of the university's Data Innovation Research Institute.

Schutz is a member of the US National Academy of Sciences, the German Academy Leopoldina, the Learned Society of Wales, and the Royal Academy of Arts and Sciences (Uppsala). He has been awarded the Eddington Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society, the Amaldi Gold Medal of the Italian Society for Gravitation, and the Isaacson Award in Gravitational-Wave Science of the American Physical Society. He received the DSc degree from the University of Glasgow. He is the author of three highly regarded textbooks and the creator of the high-impact online open-access journal Living Reviews in Relativity, now published by Springer.

Professional position

  • Professor, School of Physics and Astronomy, Cardiff University
  • Director (retired), Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute) Potsdam-Golm
  • Fellow and founding Director, Data Innovation Research Institute, Cardiff University

Subject groups

  • Mathematics

    Applied mathematics and theoretical physics

  • Astronomy and physics

    Astronomy, Gravitation

  • Other