IEEE Photonics Society

Boston Photonics Society Chapter

Boston Chapter of the IEEE Photonics Society

Applications of Optics and Photonics in Space PDF

Wednesday, April 3, 10, 17, 24, May 1, 2019, 7:00–9:30 PM
Located at MIT Lincoln Laboratory – 3 Forbes Road, Lexington, MA, 02420, USA

May 1, 2019
7 PM

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The Beginning of Gravitational Wave Astronomy Slides

Prof. Rainer Weiss, 2017 Nobel Laureate, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA


Prof. Rainer Weiss, 2017 Nobel Laureate, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA

Abstract:  The observations of gravitational waves from the merger of binary black holes and from a binary neutron star coalescence followed by a set of astronomical measurements is an example of investigating the universe by “multi-messenger” astronomy. Gravitational waves will allow us to observe phenomena we already know in new ways as well as to test General Relativity in the limit of strong gravitational interactions – the dynamics of massive bodies traveling at relativistic speeds in a highly curved space-time.  Since the gravitational waves are due to accelerating masses while electromagnetic waves are caused by accelerating charges, it is reasonable to expect new classes of sources to be detected by gravitational waves as well. The lecture will start with some basic concepts of gravitational waves. Briefly describe the instruments and the methods for data analysis that enable the measurement of gravitational wave strains of 10-21 and then present the results of recent runs. The lecture will end with a vision for the future of gravitational wave astrophysics and astronomy.


Biography:  Rainer Weiss (NAS) is a Professor Emeritus at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Previously Dr. Weiss served as an assistant physics professor at Tufts University and has been an adjunct professor at Louisiana State University since 2001. Dr. Weiss is known for his pioneering measurements of the spectrum of the cosmic microwave background radiation, his inventions of the monolithic silicon bolometer and the laser interferometer gravitational wave detector and his roles as a co-founder and an intellectual leader of both the COBE (microwave background) Project and the LIGO (gravitational-wave detection) Project. He has received numerous scientific and group achievement awards from NASA, an MIT excellence in teaching award, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, the National Space Club Science Award, the Medaille de l’ADION Observatoire de Nice, the Gruber Cosmology Prize, and the Einstein Prize of the American Physical Society. Dr. Weiss is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Physical Society, The American Academy of Arts and Sciences; and he is a member of the American Astronomical Society, the New York Academy of Sciences, and Sigma Xi. He received his B.S. and Ph.D. in physics from MIT. Dr. Weiss is a member of the NAS and has served on nine NRC committees from 1986 to 2007 including the Committee on NASA Astrophysics Performance Assessment; the Panel on Particle, Nuclear, and Gravitational-wave Astrophysics; and the Task Group on Space Astronomy and Astrophysics.


Advance registration and fee required (Open to all IEEE members as well as non-members)

$75/$85 (IEEE Member/Non-Member) early registration fee for ten 1-hour talks over five nights; cost includes coffee and cookies each night, as well as downloadable copies of speakers slides. Early registration deadline March 15th, 2019. Post deadline fee $85/$95 (IEEE Member/Non-Member).

Click here for registration

Onsite registration available

For more information on the technical content of the workshop, contact either:
1) Farhad Hakimi, (, Chair
2) Bill Nelson, (, Co-Chair
3) Dean Tsang, (, Co-Chair