About the LSC

The LIGO Scientific Collaboration (LSC) is a group of scientists focused on the direct detection of gravitational waves, using them to explore the fundamental physics of gravity, and developing the emerging field of gravitational wave science as a tool of astronomical discovery. The LSC works toward this goal through research on, and development of techniques for, gravitational wave detection; and the development, commissioning and exploitation of gravitational wave detectors.

The LSC carries out the science of the LIGO Observatories, located in Hanford, Washington and Livingston, Louisiana as well as that of the GEO600 detector in Hannover, Germany. Our collaboration is organized around three general areas of research: analysis of LIGO and GEO data searching for gravitational waves from astrophysical sources, detector operations and characterization, and development of future large scale gravitational wave detectors.

Founded in 1997, the LSC is currently made up of more than 1000 scientists from over 100 institutions and 18 countries worldwide. A list of the participating universities.

The LIGO Observatory

The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) consists of two widely separated installations within the United States -- one in Hanford Washington and the other in Livingston, Louisiana -- operated in unison as a single observatory. LIGO is operated by the LIGO Laboratory, a consortium of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Funded by the National Science Foundation, LIGO is an international resource for both physics and astrophysics.

Join the LSC

Institutions interested in joining the LIGO Scientific Collaboration should contact the LSC Spokesperson. Prospective members must arrange an MOU with LIGO Laboratory and the LIGO Scientific Collaboration and present their proposed collaborative program at an LSC meeting. New memberships are approved by a two-thirds majority vote of the LSC Council.

New members, please check The LSC Beginner's Guide for helpful information on first steps after joining the Collaboration.

LSC's Commitment to Diversity

As members of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration, we recognize the importance of diversity to enrich our research and scholarship. We pledge to provide a welcoming, inclusive environment to talented individuals regardless of characteristics such as, but not limited to, physical ability, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, economic status, or personal religious practices, and to support the professional growth of all collaboration members.

We also pledge to work to increase the numbers of women and under-represented minorities that actively participate in the LSC, to pursue recruitment, mentoring, retention and promotion of women and under-represented minority scientists and engineers and to maximize their contribution to excellence in our research. As a collaboration, we will strive to create a professional climate that encourages inclusion and that respects and values diversity.

LSC Statement on Diversity

At a glance

A map of participating institutions

Click on map image for an interactive map of participating LSC institutions. Map courtesy of zeemaps.com

(As of April 2017)

Total members: 1167
Total institutions: 103
Countries represented: 18
Founded in: 1997
  Detection of gravitational waves (GW)
  Use GW to explore fundamental physics of gravity
  Develop GW observations as a tool of astronomical discovery
Areas of research:
  Analysis of GW search data
  Detector operations and characterization
  Development of future large-scale GW detectors
Funded by: Public and private sources
Governed by: The Collaboration Council
Spokesperson: Dr. David H. Shoemaker, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Deputy Spokesperson: Prof. Laura Cadonati, Georgia Institute of Technology

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