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 Board Approves New Statements on Racism, New START Treaty, and Nuclear Testing
At its virtual meeting near the end of July, the APS Board of Directors approved three new Board Statements.
2020 APS Fall Prize & Award Recipients
APS announces its 2020 Fall Prizes and Awards in fluid dynamics, nuclear physics, and plasma physics.
ICE Reverses Directive on International Student Visas
US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has rescinded its July 6 Directive that would have forced international students to leave the country if their campus offered online-only classes this fall due to the ongoing pandemic.
APS Files Amicus Brief Opposing ICE’s July 6 Directive on International Student Visas
APS and 16 other scientific societies, including AIP, AAAS, and The Optical Society, have formally pledged their support for the lawsuit brought by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to block US Immigration and Customs Enforcement from canceling visas of international students unable to take in-person classes because of the pandemic.
APS and Max Planck Society Partner on “Read and Publish” Open Access Pilot
On July 7, APS announced a new aspect of its partnership with the Max Planck Society (MPG) in Germany allowing open access publication of research papers in APS journals at no direct cost to MPG researchers.
APS Condemns Recent Rule Change by ICE
The APS leadership expresses its outrage at the recent rule change by ICE to cancel F-1 and M-1 visas for students studying off-campus because of the pandemic emergency.