Barry Barish

Barry Barish

2017 Nobel Prize in Physics

Barry Barish (born January 27, 1936) is an American experimental physicist and Nobel Laureate. He is a Linde Professor of Physics, emeritus at California Institute of Technology. He is a leading expert on gravitational waves. 

Education and Work Experience

  • 1957, B.A. in Physics, University of California, Berkeley
  • 1962, Ph.D. in Physics, University of California, Berkeley
  • 1966-1969, Associate Professor, Caltech
  • 1969-1972, Professor, Caltech
  • 1972-1991, Linde Professor, Caltech
  • 1991-2005, Linde Professor Emeritus, Caltech
  • 2005-Present, Principal Investigator of LIGO
  • 2011, President of the American Physical Society

Honors and Awards

    • 2002, Klopsteg Memorial Award
    • 2002, Member, National Academy of Sciences
    • 2005, Member, American Academy of Art and Sciences
    • 2016, Enrico Fermi Prize
    • 2016, American Ingenuity Award
    • 2017, Henry Draper Medal
    • 2017, Fudan-Zhongzhi Science Award
    • 2017, Nobel Prize in Physics

Major Academic Achievements

One consequence of Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity is the existence of gravitational waves. Beginning in the 1970s the LIGO detector was developed to record gravitational waves. Barry Barish had a leading role in the project from 1994 and made crucial contributions to the development of the detector. In 2015 gravitational waves were detected for the first time.