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Three Scientist Share Award Honoring John P. Schaefer

Three scientists in leadership roles with the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) Scientific Collaboration share the 2017 National Academy of Sciences Award for Scientific Discovery.

They are Gabriela González, professor of physics and astronomy at Louisiana State University; David H. Reitze, executive director, LIGO Laboratory at California Institute of Technology and a professor of physics at the University of Florida; and Peter R. Saulson, Martin A. Pomerantz ’37 Professor of Physics at Syracuse University. Reitze is a 1996 Cottrell Scholar.

Endowed by Research Corporation for Science Advancement and the Frederick Gardner Cottrell Foundation in honor of former RCSA President John P. Schaefer, this award is presented with a medal, a $50,000 cash prize, and $50,000 to support the recipient’s research. The presentation is made every two years to recognize a high achievement in basic research occurring within the previous five years, and which is expected to have a significant impact within the physical sciences.

In 2015 LIGO made the first-ever observation of gravitational waves, basically ripples in spacetime, produced from two colliding black holes.


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