Ronald W.P. Drever, 1931 - 2017

LIGO mourns the passing of one of its founders.

The entire LIGO community is saddened by the news of passing of Ronald W.P. Drever. Drever joined the Caltech as a visiting associate in 1977 and in 1979, joined the Caltech faculty as a professor, where he remained until his retirement in 2002. Quoting LIGO Director Dr David H. Reitze, "[Prof Drever] was instrumental in the 1980s and 1990s in developing some of the key concepts for precision measurement and GW laser interferometry." Among his many contributions is the Pound-Drever-Hall technique for laser frequency stabilization, which is widely used in modern scientific and technical applications.

When he came to Caltech, Drever built a prototype 40-meter inferferometer, which is still being used as a testbed by LIGO scientists. Drever brought his insight of a talented experimentalist to the team of Kip S. Thorne and Rainer Weiss. It was the early work of the Drever-Thorne-Weiss trio that made LIGO's groundbreaking discovery possible. Drever's pioneering work was recognized by numerous awards.

Read the obituary on the Caltech website.

The LIGO Laboratory expresses deep sadness on the passing of Prof Drever, and extends its deepest condolences to his family, colleagues, and the entire GW community.

Illustration by LIGO Lab. Ronald Drever photo: APS. Wave graphics: LIGO/T. Pyle

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