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

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 Files FOIA Request in Response to Revocation of Visas for Chinese Students
APS has filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the US State Department, asking for the rationale behind the revocation of more than 1,000 visas impacting Chinese students.
Spring 2021 APS Prizes & Awards Recipients
APS has announced the Society’s Spring 2021 prize and award recipients.
2020 Nobel Prize in Physics Announced
Three researchers share the Nobel Prize in Physics for black hole discoveries.
APS Fellows Among Winners of the 2021 Breakthrough Prizes
The Breakthrough Prize Foundation has announced the recipients of its 2021 prizes, recognizing individuals who have made profound contributions in physics.
2020 Apker Award Finalists
On August 9 and 10, seven bright young physicists presented their research to the selection committee for the LeRoy Apker Award.
2021 APS Medal for Exceptional Achievement in Research Awarded to Gordon Baym
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign professor to receive top APS honor