Rainer Weiss

Rainer Weiss ( called Rai Weiss, born September 29, 1932 in Berlin) is an American physicist who is one of the leading scientists in the LIGO project of a gravitational wave detector.

White went with his family in the emergence of the National Socialists in Germany, first to Prague, and in 1938 to the USA. He went to New York City in the school (Columbia Grammar School ) and studied at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where in 1955 he took his bachelor's degree and received his doctorate in 1962 with Jerrold Zacharias. As a post - graduate student, he was until 1962. At Tufts University as an instructor and assistant professor and then at Princeton University, where he worked with Robert Dicke and David Todd Wilkinson From 1964 he was an assistant professor at MIT, where he became Associate Professor in 1967 and Professor in 1973. Since 2001 he is a professor emeritus at the same time and Adjunct Professor at Louisiana State University.

White dealt initially with atomic physics and the development of atomic clocks. He was in the 1970s one of the pioneers in the measurement of the cosmic microwave background with balloon measurements and was then conducting the COBE satellite to its measurement involved .. In the late 1980s he played a leading role in the development of the laser interferometers for gravitational wave detectors, which in LIGO project led ..

In 1991 he received the Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal of NASA for the COBE program. He is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the New York Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS ). 2000 he was a Guggenheim Fellow and 2007 he received the Einstein Prize of the APS. In 2006 he received as part of the COBE team, the Gruber Prize in Cosmology.

His doctoral counts Nergis Mavalvala.


  • Gravitational Radiation, Reviews of Modern Physics, Centennial Issue 1999
  • With Barish: Ligo and the detection of gravivational waves, Physics Today, July 1999