The MIT Kavli Institute paves the way for new developments in space- & ground-based astrophysics. Our faculty, research staff, and students develop technology & instrumentation with a focus on an engineering and technical core.
Researchers at The Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research explore extreme and unusual phenomena found beyond the Earth including extrasolar planets, black holes, neutron stars, and distant galaxies and clusters of galaxies.
March 2017 David Shoemaker named spokesperson for LIGO Scientific Collaboration Senior MIT research scientist to speak for international collaboration for gravitational wave detection research. MIT News
In the late 70s, I worked in Rai Weiss' lab on the COBE satellite FIRAS interferometer that measured the Planck Spectrum, and then moved to the interferometric detection of gravitational waves in the early 80s. I spent a few years at Max Planck in Garching, Germany and the CNRS in Paris, France, developing specific technologies for gravitational wave detection, then returned to MIT in '89. I lead the Advanced LIGO Project. The team delivered detectors in March 2015 which, after commissioning and observing, enabled the first detection of gravitational waves in September 2015.
I work on instrumentation to enable the observation of gravitational radiation via precision measurement techniques.
Observation of Gravitational Waves from a Binary Black Hole Merger, B. P. Abbott et al. (LIGO Scientific Collaboration and Virgo Collaboration) Phys. Rev. Lett. 116, 061102 – Published 11 February 2016
Noise behavior of the Garching 30 meter prototype gravitational wave detector, D. Shoemaker, R. Schilling, L. Schnupp, W. Winkler, K. Maischberger, A. Ruediger; Phys. Rev. D 38 (1988) 423432