Guest Speaker Dr. David H. Shoemaker – September 14, 2016

Simons Center Gallery + Art Program

Guest Speaker
Dr. David H. Shoemaker
Director MIT LIGO Laboratory; Leader, Advanced LIGO; Senior Research Scientist, MIT Kavli Institute

Realizing Einstein’s Dream: Observing the Signature of Dynamic Space-time

Wednesday, September 14, 2016
5:45 pm Simons Center Auditorium 103
Simons Center for Geometry and Physics, Stony Brook University

Dr. David Shoemaker is the Director of the MIT LIGO Scientific Collaboration, and the Leader of the Advanced LIGO Project to make the detectors used in the discovery of gravitational waves. Shoemaker started out as a lab technician at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the mid-70’s, but after joining Rai Weiss’ lab he built and tested the instrument which made the first definitive measurement of the Cosmic Microwave Background spectrum in the ‘70s. Shoemaker then turned to the field of gravitational-wave detection, helping to advance the measurement technology. After working in Garching, Germany at the Max Planck Institut für Quantenoptik, and in Orsay, France at the Université de Paris, he returned to MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts and worked on the Initial LIGO detectors before taking on the effort to realize the second generation of detectors. Shoemaker is now working to enable 3rd-generation approaches to yet better sensitivity, and supporting efforts to put gravitational-wave detectors in space.


This talk is part of the exhibition RESOUND in the Simons Center Gallery.

Featuring the work of Memo Akten, Sougwen Chung, Seth Cluett, Yoon Chung Han, Carsten Nicolai, Jess Rowland
Thursday, September 8, – Friday, October 28, 2016
Simons Center Gallery
Curated by Lorraine Walsh with Margaret Schedel and Joo Yun Lee

Opening Reception: Wednesday, September 14, 2016
5:00 pm: Wine and Cheese Reception, Simons Center Gallery and Lobby
5:45 pm: Guest Speaker: Dr. David H. Shoemaker

RESOUND — an exhibition inspired by the recent detection of gravitational waves in space.

The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) group, which is operated by researchers from Caltech and MIT with partner institutions worldwide, announced last February that they detected a gravitational wave vibration emanating from the collision and merger of two black holes a billion light years away. Translating the vibration into a sound, the scientists recorded a short chirp – a billion-year-old echo of the collision of those two black holes. This astonishing detection of gravitational waves confirms Albert Einstein’s prediction of ripples in the fabric of space-time in his 1915 general theory of relativity.

For more information on the exhibition: