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Interview with Barry C. Barish

Barish, Barry C. (2001) Interview with Barry C. Barish. [Oral History]

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Interview in five sessions, May-July 1998, with Barry C. Barish, Linde Professor of Physics emeritus and director of LIGO [Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory] 1994-2005. Recalls undergraduate education, Berkeley; graduate work on Lawrence Radiation Laboratory cyclotron; postdoc work on bevatron. Meets Alvin Tollestrup, comes to Caltech as postdoc, 1963. At Brookhaven National Laboratory. At Stanford Linear Accelerator Center with Henry Kendall, Richard Taylor, and Jerome Friedman. With Frank Sciulli, proposes neutrino experiment for Fermilab; work on tau leptons at SLAC. Move to Cornell. Discusses history of magnetic monopoles and his work on monopoles at Caltech in 1980s. Discusses history of SSC [Superconducting Super Collider]; problems with Standard Model of Particle Physics; Aspen conferences to plan SSC; selection of Texas site. Involvement of Samuel C. C. Ting. Devises SSC experiment, with W. J. Willis. SSC's defeat in Congress (1993). Discusses his work in Italy on monopoles, in Gran Sasso tunnel. MACRO [Monopole Astrophysics Cosmic Ray Observatory] detector. Discusses history of LIGO. Bar detector experiments of Joseph Weber. Initial meetings at Caltech. Hiring of Ronald W. P. Drever. Rochus E. (Robbie) Vogt as head, 1987. Disastrous technical review and project review, 1992-93. He takes project over from Vogt in February 1994. Discusses problems he encountered and lack of evolution between 1989 and 1994. Discusses LIGO's technical difficulties and evolution of its organizational structure. LIGO Laboratory and LIGO (construction) Project. Establishment of LIGO Scientific Collaboration. Comments on Caltech; disinclination to serve on committees, enjoyment of teaching. Recollections of Richard Feynman. Influence of Tollestrup and Taylor.

Item Type:Oral History
Keywords:Physics, LIGO
Record Number:CaltechOH:OH_Barish_B
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Barish, Barry C. Interview by Shirley K. Cohen. Pasadena, California, May-July 1998. Oral History Project, California Institute of Technology Archives. Retrieved [supply date of retrieval] from the World Wide Web:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
Subjects:Subjects > LIGO
Subjects > Physics
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ID Code:178
Deposited By: Oral Histories Administrator
Deposited On:24 May 2011
Last Modified:04 Oct 2019 15:23

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