LIGO and LaserFest

Celebrate LaserFest, the 50-year anniversary of the invention of the laser! Bring cutting-edge laser technology into your classroom with an online LaserFest program featuring the laser science of LIGO, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory.

Courtesy LZHCourtesy LZHCourtesy LZH/AEI

Physics classrooms from across the U.S. are invited to join LIGO and LaserFest. In this 50-minute broadcast, LIGO scientists will take students from the basic principles of lasers to one of todays most exciting applications of laser technology -- the search for gravitational waves from astrophysical sources. In research labs and at the LIGO detector sites in Louisiana and Washington, students will receive a rare glimpse of remarkably sophisticated laser systems that are leveraging state-of-the-art quantum physics to probe the structure of the universe.

Use EVO, the Worldwide Collaboration Network, to bring LIGO and LaserFest into your classroom via the Web.

Broadcast Dates
Teachers can connect to real-time broadcasts of the program on EVO at these times: OR register to show the taped version of the broadcast by accessing EVO at a time of your choosing between November 16 and November 19.

Register for the program
To access LIGO and LaserFest, teachers will need to register for the broadcast, create an EVO account and verify that EVO will run successfully in the school's online environment. The LIGO EVO checklist provides resources for the broadcast along with links for help and support.
Program Main Page:
Registration Form:
Participation Checklist:

LIGO, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory, seeks to open the field of gravitational wave astronomy through direct detections of astrophysical gravitational waves. At LIGO detector facilities in LA and WA, in the LIGO Laboratories at Caltech and MIT, and at dozens of institutions around the world in the LIGO Scientific Collaboration, hundreds of scientists and engineers are striving to open a new window on the universe.

LaserFest is a year-long festival of international events that commemorate the first demonstration of the laser in 1960. Principal LaserFest partners are APS, OSA, SPIE and IEEE/Photonics Society.

EVO, the Worldwide Collaboration Network, provides an online environment that supports remote face-to-face communication for scientists around the globe. EVO provides tools and features that facilitate effective real-time collaboration without user fees.

Additional support for EVO comes from the LHC Experiments, CERN and the U.S. LHC program funded by the U.S. Dept. of Energy.

The National Science Foundation provides funding for a wide variety of U.S. research programs that span the physical sciences. LIGO is an NSF project. NSF also supports EVO.

LIGO is supported by the National Science Foundation. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed here are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.