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SU physics professor shares in 2016 Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics

12/08/2016

As a long-standing contributor to LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory), Stephen C. McGuire has been honored as a named recipient of the 2016 Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics in the aggregate amount of $3,000,000 for all LIGO founders and contributors in respect of their outstanding achievements. The prize was formally presented December 4, 2016, in Mountain View, California, at a gala ceremony broadcast live in North America on the National Geographic channel. It will also be replayed on Fox December 18, 2016, as well as on National Geographic Channels worldwide.

"This singular recognition affirms our contributions to LIGO in optical materials research over the past 15 years," McGuire said.

All Prize recipients have been invited to present public talks targeted at a general audience, on subjects ranging from the basics of modern physics to cutting-edge research, at a venue of their choice.

"These lectures, together with supporting materials, will be made available to the public, allowing everyone to keep abreast of the latest developments in fundamental physics, guided by contemporary masters of the field," said Breakthrough Prize Foundation director, Karl Johansson.

Also, McGuire was recently recognized as one of the 2016 Louisiana Role Models presented by the Baton Rouge Chapter of The Links, Incorporated at its 11th Annual Jazz Brunch held at the Renaissance Baton Rouge Hotel, December 10, 2016.

McGuire is the James and Ruth Smith Endowed Professor of Physics and serves as the Southern University Principal Investigator to the LIGO Scientific Collaboration. He directs of the on-campus Southern University - LIGO Advanced Optical Materials Laboratory. The National Science Foundation funds his research. A Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS), McGuire is a co-author on the publications reporting the first and second direct detections of gravitational waves by both of the twin LIGO detectors located in Livingston, Louisiana, and Hanford, Washington in the journal, Physical Review Letters. In July he was presented with the 2016 "Male Faculty Member of the Year" HBCU Award by HBCU Digest.