Vladimir Braginsky, 1931 - 2016

The Russian physicist made significant scientific contributions to LIGO.

Vladimir Braginsky, Professor of Physics at Moscow State University (MSU), passed away on March 29, 2016. He was born on August 3, 1931. He obtained his PhD from MSU in 1959, becoming a professor of physics in 1968. He founded and for many years led a group of theoretical and experimental scientists at MSU, who worked in close collaboration with LIGO. Early in his career, inspired by Joseph Weber's work, Braginsky worked on developing bar detectors as potential tools of gravitational-wave detection. By his own admission, at the time he considered the prospects of interferometric detection as too ambitious [1]. Seeing the progress that was being made in the field of laser interferometry applications for GW detection, he eventually became convicted of its ultimate feasibility, and went on to refocus his group's efforts on collaboration with LIGO. Over the years the group made many significant contributions to the eventual detection of gravitational waves by LIGO in 2015 [2]. These include work on quantum noise and thermal noise, the limitations these phenomena put on precision necessary for GW detection, and on ways to overcome these limitations [2]. Over the course of his career, he published more than 240 papers and several monographs, and is among the most widely-cited Russian authors [3]. A distinguished scientist, Braginsky was a member of the Russian Academy of Science, an honorary member of the US National Academy of Science and Academia Europaea, as well as a recipient of Russia's Lebedev Medal, Germany's Humboldt Prize, and numerous other honors and awards.

[1] LIGO: Playing the Long Game, and Winning Big!
[2] LIGO Mourns the Loss of Vladimir Braginsky
[3] Скончался соавтор открытия гравитационных волн Владимир Брагинский (in Russian)

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