Rainer Weiss
#4831 Overall Influence

Rainer Weiss

American physicist

About

Why is this person notable and influential?
AI Staff

Rainer Weiss currently holds the title of Emeritus Professor of Physics at MIT and also works as an adjunct professor at LSU. He previously also held positions at Tufts University and Princeton University. He was also chair of the Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) Science Working Group. Weiss completed his bachelor of science degree in 1955 at MIT (after having dropped out briefly), and his PhD in 1962. Native to Berlin, Germany, Weiss’ family emigrated to Prague and then to the U.S. fleeing persecution from the Nazis.

Weiss is known as a leading name in gravitational physics and astrophysics. In particular, Weiss is recognized for his work on LIGO, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory experiment. Weiss pioneered the measurement of cosmic microwave background radiation, which have been used to make inferences about the Big Bang and the origins of the universe. Toward this, Weiss led the way in utilizing lasers for measuring gravitational waves.

Weiss won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2017 alongside Kip Thorne and Barry Barish for his work at LIGO on gravitational waves. Additionally, he has received awards and honors including the Gruber Prize in Cosmology, the Einstein Prize, the Shaw Prize, and fellowship with the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters.

Academic Website

Other Resources

Schools

What schools is this person affiliated with?
Tufts University
Tufts University

Private research university in Medford/Somerville, Massachusetts

view profile
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States

view profile

Influence Rankings by Discipline

How’s this person influential?
#283 World Rank #72 USA Rank
Physics