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Twenty

Ron Drever

One of the pioneers in the search for gravitational waves…

Ron Drever

Ron Drever

Professor Ron Drever, one of the pioneers in the search for gravitational waves, died in March 2017, aged 85. Born in Bishopton, Renfrewshire, Drever graduated from the University of Glasgow with a BSc (Hons) in Pure Science, and also gained his PhD in Glasgow. After doing research in Glasgow and Harvard, he helped to establish the University of Glasgow's first dedicated gravitational waves research group in 1970/71. During the 1970s, he and the Glasgow team focused on developing a new type of interferometer – a forerunner of the devices used to detect gravitational waves. In 1979, Drever joined Caltech part-time as part of an experimental gravitational wave group and in 1984, as a full-time Caltech faculty member, he became a co-leader of the LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory) project – continuing as part of the LIGO project until 1994. Later developments of LIGO, which became the ‘Advanced LIGO’ system, eventually led to the discovery of gravitational waves on 14 September 2015. Drever was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a Fellow of the American Physical Society. In 2016, he was awarded a President’s Medal from the Royal Society of Edinburgh for his contribution to the detection of gravitational waves, sharing the award with the other Scottish researchers involved (for details, please see Foreword above).

Image courtesy of the American Physical Society

 

 

"Ron Drever". Science Scotland (Issue Twenty)
Printed from http://www.sciencescotland.org/feature.php?id=309 on 24/09/17 11:18:38 AM

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