LIGO — A Feat of Modern Engineering

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Columbia Basin Section

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  • LIGO — A Feat of Modern Engineering

    Join the Columbia Basin Section on Thursday, March 25th at 7pm for a presentation by Dr. Jeff Kissel of the LIGO Hanford Observatory. 

    Jeff Kissel [he/him/his] is the Controls Engineer for the LIGO Hanford Observatory. He graduated from Pennsylvania State University with a BS in Astronomy and Astrophysics in 2005, went on earn his doctorate in Physics from Louisiana State University in 2010, with a thesis focusing on Calibration and Seismic Isolation Control Systems for the “initial" and “enhanced” generations of LIGO detectors, respectively. After a three year stint at MIT as a post-doctoral researcher leading the design, testing, and commissioning of the Suspension Control Systems during construction of the “advanced” generation of LIGO, he arrived in Eastern Washington as a staff scientist in 2013. His control system specialties have since ballooned to touch all aspects of the myriad of control systems LIGO needs to achieve its ground-breaking sensitivity.

    The title of Dr. Kissel's presentation is "LIGO — A Feat of Modern Engineering!"  The Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory, comprised of two detectors in the United States continues to provide a new and ground breaking insight in to the invisible universe through its 5 years of detecting of gravitational waves. Detecting these disturbances in space-time — and determining the properties of astrophysical sources that produced them — would not be possible with out a tremendous amount of precision engineering. In this talk, Dr. Kissel will discuss an overview of the LIGO detectors, how they work, and cover some of the highlights in vacuum, optical, electrical, controls, systems, and mechanical engineering that help LIGO ``hear’’ explosions in the universe from billions of light-years away.

    Topic: LIGO — A Feat of Modern Engineering
    Time: Mar 25, 2021 07:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

    Join Zoom Meeting

    Meeting ID: 863 8470 8524
    Passcode: 544211

    If you have any questions or would like to join by phone, please email Kelly Mears at

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