Nobel laureate Barry Barish, who joined the faculty of the UCR Department of Physics and Astronomy earlier this year, has been conferred the honorary degree Doctor Honoris Causa of Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski by the academic council of Sofia University, Bulgaria. The award ceremony, including a lecture by Barish, will take place at a date to be determined.
Barish won the 2017 Nobel Prize in physics for the discovery of gravitational waves. He shared the honor with Caltech physicist Kip Thorne and MIT physicist Rainer Weiss. The prize recognized their “decisive contributions to the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational waves.”
On Sept. 14, 2015, LIGO, or the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory, detected for the first time gravitational waves predicted by Albert Einstein more than 100 years ago. A collision between two black holes generated the waves, which took 1.3 billion years to arrive at the LIGO detector. Barish brought the LIGO project to completion, enabling the first observation of this phenomenon.