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LIGO Scientific Collaboration
HeadquartersCalifornia Institute of Technology and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, United States
1200 scientists[2]
LSC Spokesperson
Patrick Brady
Executive Director of LIGO
David Reitze
Award(s)Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics (2016)
Gruber Prize in Cosmology (2016)
Enrico Fermi Prize (2016)
Bruno Rossi Prize (2017)
Albert Einstein Medal (2017)
Princess of Asturias Award (2017)

The LIGO Scientific Collaboration (LSC) is a scientific collaboration of international physics institutes and research groups dedicated to the search for gravitational waves.


The LSC was established in 1997, under the leadership of Barry Barish.[3] Its mission is to ensure equal scientific opportunity for individual participants and institutions by organizing research, publications, and all other scientific activities, and it includes scientists from both LIGO Laboratory and collaborating institutions. Barish appointed Rainer Weiss as the first spokesperson.

LSC members have access to the US-based Advanced LIGO detectors in Hanford, Washington and in Livingston, Louisiana, as well as the GEO 600 detector in Sarstedt, Germany. Under an agreement with the European Gravitational Observatory (EGO), LSC members also have access to data from the Virgo detector in Pisa, Italy. While the LSC and the Virgo Collaboration are separate organizations, they cooperate closely and are referred to collectively as "LVC".[4] The KAGRA observatory's collaboration has joined the LIGO-Virgo collective, and the LIGO-Virgo-KAGRA collective is called "LVK".

The current LSC Spokesperson is Patrick Brady of University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.[5] The Executive Director of the LIGO Laboratory is David Reitze from the University of Florida.

On 11 February 2016, the LIGO and Virgo collaborations[a] announced that they succeeded in making the first direct gravitational wave observation on 14 September 2015.[6][7][8][9]

In 2016, Barish received the Enrico Fermi Prize "for his fundamental contributions to the formation of the LIGO and LIGO-Virgo scientific collaborations and for his role in addressing challenging technological and scientific aspects whose solution led to the first detection of gravitational waves".[10]

Collaboration members

Membership of LIGO Scientific Collaboration as of November 2015 is detailed in the table below.[2]

Institution Country Members Website
Abilene Christian University  United States 2
Albert-Einstein-Institute, Hannover  Germany 79 Binary Merger Observations and Numerical Relativity, Laser Interferometry and Gravitational Wave Astronomy Archived 2018-10-28 at the Wayback Machine
Albert-Einstein-Institute, Potsdam-Golm  Germany 21 Astrophysical and Cosmological Relativity Archived 2018-08-20 at the Wayback Machine
American University  United States 4
Andrews University  United States 6 Andrew University LIGO Archived 2019-06-30 at the Wayback Machine
Australian National University  Australia 16 Centre for Gravitational Physics Archived 2015-09-06 at the Wayback Machine
California Institute of Technology  United States 93 LIGO Lab, Caltech LIGO Astrophysics
California State University, Fullerton  United States 15 Gravitational Wave Physics and Astronomy Center
Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics  Canada 4 Gravitational waves
Cardiff University  United Kingdom 28 Gravity Exploration Institute
Carleton College  United States 8
Charles Sturt University  Australia 1
Chennai Mathematical Institute  India 1
College of William & Mary  United States 3
Columbia University  United States 8
Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University  United States 8
Eötvös Loránd University  Hungary 9 Eötvös Gravity Research Group
Georgia Institute of Technology  United States 20 Center for Relativistic Astrophysics
Goddard Space Flight Center  United States 5
Hanford Observatory  United States 38 LIGO Hanford
Hanyang University  South Korea 1
Hobart and William Smith Colleges  United States 4
IAP, Nizhny Novgorod  Russia 8
ICTP-SAIFR  Brazil 1
ICTS-TIFR  India 9
IISER-KOL  India 3
IISER-TVM  India 5
Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar  India 3
IndIGO  India 59 LIGO India
INPE  Brazil 6
IPR-Bhat  India 10
IUCAA  India 14
Kenyon College  United States 9
King's College London  United Kingdom 1
Korea Institute of Science and Technology Information  South Korea 4
Leibniz University Hannover  Germany 8
Livingston Observatory  United States 35 LIGO Livingston
Louisiana State University  United States 16 Experimental & Theoretical General Relativity Archived 2015-11-15 at the Wayback Machine
Massachusetts Institute of Technology  United States 35 MIT LIGO
Monash University  Australia 9
Montana State University  United States 3 Gravitational Physics at MSU
Montclair State University  United States 3
Moscow State University  Russia 11
National Institute of Mathematical Sciences  South Korea 4
National Tsing Hua University  Taiwan 3
Northwestern University  United States 16 LIGO Scientific Collaboration
Penn State University  United States 7 Penn State LIGO group Archived 2020-02-23 at the Wayback Machine Institute for Gravitation and the Cosmos
Pusan National University  South Korea 3
Rochester Institute of Technology  United States 13 Center for Computational Relativity and Gravitation
RRCAT, Indore  India 9
Rutherford Appleton Laboratory  United Kingdom 2 STFC Advanced LIGO
Seoul National University  South Korea 1
Sonoma State University  United States 5
Southern University  United States 1
Stanford University  United States 18 Stanford LIGO Group
Swinburne University of Technology  Australia 12 ARC Centre of Excellence for Gravitational Wave Discovery
Syracuse University  United States 31 Syracuse University Gravitational Wave Group
Texas Tech University  United States 8
The Chinese University of Hong Kong  Hong Kong 12
The University of Melbourne  Australia 3
The University of Sheffield  United Kingdom 5
Tata Institute of Fundamental Research  India 5
Trinity University  United States 2
Tsinghua University  China 5
University of Alabama in Huntsville  United States 2
University of Adelaide  Australia 4 Optics and Photonics Group
University of Birmingham  United Kingdom 29 Gravitational Wave Group
University of Brussels  Belgium 4 Precision Mechatronics Laboratory
University of Cambridge  United Kingdom 6 Gravitational waves
University of Chicago  United States 4
University of Florida  United States 26 LIGO at the University of Florida
University of Glasgow  United Kingdom 61 Institute for Gravitational Research
University of Guadalajara  Mexico 7
University of Hamburg  Germany 6
University of Maryland  United States 7 Gravitation Experiment Group
University of Michigan  United States 10 Michigan Gravitational Wave Group
University of Minnesota  United States 5 LIGO at Minnesota Archived 2016-02-19 at the Wayback Machine
University of Mississippi  United States 10 The LIGO Team at The University of Mississippi
University of Oregon  United States 10
University of Sannio  Italy 10
University of Santiago de Compostela  Spain 6
University of Southampton  United Kingdom 2
University of Strathclyde  United Kingdom 3
University of Szeged  Hungary 3
University of Texas Rio Grande Valley  United States 22 Center for Gravitational Wave Astronomy
University of Tokyo  Japan 6 Institute for Cosmic Ray Research, Gravitational Wave Group
University of the Balearic Islands  Spain 9 Relativity and Gravitation Group
University of Washington  United States 2
University of the West of Scotland  United Kingdom 4
University of Western Australia  Australia 21
University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee  United States 27 LIGO Scientific Collaboration Research Group Archived 2016-02-15 at the Wayback Machine
USC Information Sciences Institute  United States 3
Washington State University  United States 3
West Virginia University  United States 4
Whitman College  United States 3


  1. ^ The 11 February 2016 announcement team were Kip Thorne, David Reitze, Gabriela González, and Rainer Weiss.


  1. ^ "About the LSC". LIGO Scientific Collaboration. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  2. ^ a b "LSC/Virgo Census". myLIGO. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  3. ^ Setting Priorities for Large Research Facility Projects Supported by the National Science Foundation. National Academies Press. 2004. pp. 129–136.
  4. ^ Gabriela González; Fulvio Ricci; et al. (LIGO Scientific and Virgo Collaborations) (2015-12-06). "Open call for partnership for the EM identification and follow-up of GW candidate events" (PDF). Retrieved 25 May 2016.
  5. ^ "UW-Milwaukee astrophysicist elected spokesperson of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration | Newswise: News for Journalists". www.newswise.com. Retrieved 2019-04-11.
  6. ^ Twilley, Nicola. "Gravitational Waves Exist: The Inside Story of How Scientists Finally Found Them". The New Yorker. ISSN 0028-792X. Retrieved 2016-02-11.
  7. ^ Abbott, B.P.; et al. (2016). "Observation of Gravitational Waves from a Binary Black Hole Merger". Phys. Rev. Lett. 116 (6): 061102. arXiv:1602.03837. Bibcode:2016PhRvL.116f1102A. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.116.061102. PMID 26918975. S2CID 119286014.
  8. ^ Naeye, Robert (11 February 2016). "Gravitational Wave Detection Heralds New Era of Science". Sky and Telescope. Retrieved 11 February 2016.
  9. ^ Castelvecchi, Davide; Witze, Alexandra (11 February 2016). "Einstein's gravitational waves found at last". Nature News. doi:10.1038/nature.2016.19361. S2CID 182916902. Retrieved 11 February 2016.
  10. ^ "2016 Enrico Fermi Prize". Società Italiana di Fisica.