APS News

APS Designates LIGO Labs as Historic Sites

In recognition of their immense importance in unlocking the mystery of gravitational waves, the two LIGO lab locations were honored on June 20.

June 21, 2018 | Leah Poffenberger

When black holes merge, they send tiny disturbances in space-time rippling out from the site of their collision. Most of the time, these ripples — known as gravitational waves — go undetected, but on September 14, 2015, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) directly observed gravitational waves for the first time.


Livingston LIGO view
LIGO


In honor of the efforts leading to LIGO’s detection of gravitational waves, the two laboratories comprising LIGO — one in Livingston, Louisiana, and the other in Hanford, Washington — were designated as APS Historic Sites. On June 20, APS President Roger Falcone presented the APS Historic Site plaque at a special ceremony at the LIGO Livingston Laboratory.

“It’s important to acknowledge the many years and extraordinary effort that have gone into LIGO,” said APS President Roger Falcone in a statement. “The APS Historic Site designation recognizes the dedication of thousands of people and their decades of struggle that have opened a new window on the universe, as much as it memorializes the first detection of gravitational waves.”

The APS Historic Sites initiative raises public awareness of physics by identifying the sites of important events in the history of physics. While most sites are designated several decades after important events, the LIGO facilities are being recognized less than three years after the direct observation of gravitational waves.

Gray Arrow APS Historic Sites website

Livingston LIGO plaque

News Update Archive

View Archive


APS News

Read Current Issue


Recent News Update
APS Releases New Report: Building America’s STEM Workforce
APS has released a new report that provides recommendations to strengthen the nation’s STEM workforce.
Black History Month: A Reflection on Einstein’s Opinions About Racism and African-Americans
The APS Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Working Group asked 2021 APS President S. James Gates for his thoughts during Black History Month.
Beverley McKeon and Eric Lauga Selected as Lead Editors for Physical Review Fluids
APS has appointed Beverley McKeon (California Institute of Technology) and Eric Lauga (University of Cambridge) as Lead Editors for the Physical Review Fluids as of February 1, 2021. They take the helm following the journal's founding Editors John Kim and Gary Leal.
APS Applauds President-elect Biden’s Recently Announced White House Science Team
The Society is encouraged by the Biden Administration selecting a diverse team of highly respected science and policy experts ready to serve on day one and stands ready to work with them on the challenges facing the scientific community and the nation more broadly.
APS Joins the CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion Pledge
On January 11, APS CEO Jonathan Bagger joined more than 1,600 other chief executives and organization presidents in signing the CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion pledge.
Uwe Täuber Selected as Lead Editor for Physical Review E
APS has selected Uwe Täuber as the new Lead Editor of Physical Review E.