Dr. Luca Matone is part of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration – a group of more than 1000 scientists worldwide who have joined together in the search for gravitational waves.
On February 11, 2016, the LIGO collaboration, in partnership with its European counterpart Virgo, announced their success in making the first direct gravitational wave observation on September 14, 2015. This observation consisted of a gravitational-wave signal produced by a cataclysmic event involving the merger of a pair of black holes more than a billion light-years away.
Dr. Matone first began working on gravitational wave research as a student. He is a native of Rome, Italy, and began his research, also in Italy, with the Virgo collaboration. He earned his master's degree in physics at the University of Rome 'Tor Vergata' and then continued his physics studies in France, also with the Virgo collaboration, earning his physics PhD at the Universitè de Paris XI. This eventually led him to the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) where he joined the LIGO commissioning team. At one point, he even asked his wife to relocate to the high-desert of Washington State so he would be closer to the detector (he is still happily married).
Dr. Matone currently holds a research position at Columbia University and focuses on public outreach. He has taught at Fordham University, teaches at Regis High School in New York City, and mentors students in their scientific research.