Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

About the PNAS Member Editor
Name Barish, Barry C.
Location California Institute of Technology
Primary Field Physics
Secondary Field Astronomy
 Election Citation
Barish, a noted particle physicist, has played a key role in neutrino experiments that demonstrated the quark substructure of the nucleon. He helped to develop an underground experiment at Gran Sasso in Italy that looked for magnetic monopoles predicted in Grand Unified Theories, and he now directs LIGO, the leading program searching for gravitational waves from space.
 Research Interests
My research interests are in both particle physics and gravitation. In particle physics my colleagues and I developed a large underground project at the MACRO experiment at Gran Sasso, Italy, to search for very heavy magnetic monopoles predicted in grand unified theories, and to probe a variety of other problems in the emerging area of particle astrophysics. MACRO provided some of the key evidence that neutrinos have mass and undergo neutrino oscillations. I am continuing to pursue that phenomenon in a long baseline experiment (MINOS), which will use a neutrino beam originating at Fermilab and transversing the 730 km to the Soudan mine in Minnesota where the detector is located. The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) is being developed with observatories in Washington State and Louisiana that will be used for the detection and study of gravitational waves from astrophysical sources. The detectors are precision suspended mass laser interferometers that monitor motions of test masses separated by four kilometer baselines and will be used in coincidence. We are searching for gravitational waves from compact binary inspirals, spinning neutron stars, supernovae, and the early Universe.

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