La Crosse, WI (WXOW) Students in the physics program at the UW-La Crosse are learning from a Nobel Prize winner.
It’s part of the Distinguished Lecture Series in Physics. Each year since 2000, the University with help from contributors, has brought a Nobel Laureate to campus. This year, it’s Barry Barish, Ph.D., the 2017 winner.
Barish, along with Rainer Weiss and Kip Thorne won the prize. According to the University they won for the discovery of “gravitational waves from the collision of two black holes.”
That discovery was possible with the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory, or LIGO. Barish is a founder of that Observatory. The University explains that LIGO “measures tiny distortions in space-time from the passage of a gravitational wave.
Barish says physics is not something he set out to study. He was interested in telling stories, writing and literature – until he had to read “Moby Dick” when he was 15. Now, he loves the book. But when he first read it he was too young to understand. Eventually, he developed an interest in science which led to his focus on physics.
You can hear Professor Barish speak during a physics seminar October 12 titled, “Gravitational Waves: Detectors, Detections and the Future.” That talk begins at 3:20 p.m. in room 1400, Centennial Hall.