Rainer Weiss

1932 - Today

Photo of Rainer Weiss

Icon of person Rainer Weiss

Rainer "Rai" Weiss ( WYSSE, German: [vaɪs]; born September 29, 1932) is an American physicist, known for his contributions in gravitational physics and astrophysics. He is a professor of physics emeritus at MIT and an adjunct professor at LSU. He is best known for inventing the laser interferometric technique which is the basic operation of LIGO. He was Chair of the COBE Science Working Group.In 2017, Weiss was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics, along with Kip Thorne and Barry Barish, "for decisive contributions to the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational waves".Weiss has helped realize a number of challenging experimental tests of fundamental physics. Read more on Wikipedia

Since 2007, the English Wikipedia page of Rainer Weiss has received more than 457,554 page views. His biography is available in 54 different languages on Wikipedia (up from 51 in 2019). Rainer Weiss is the 260th most popular physicist (down from 255th in 2019), the 1,060th most popular biography from Germany (down from 1,020th in 2019) and the 39th most popular Physicist.

Rainer Weiss is most famous for being a part of the team that won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2017. Weiss was one of three people who led the construction of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) which detected gravitational waves for the first time in 2016.

Memorability Metrics

  • 460k

    Page Views (PV)

  • 60.45

    Historical Popularity Index (HPI)

  • 54

    Languages Editions (L)

  • 8.21

    Effective Languages (L*)

  • 3.81

    Coefficient of Variation (CV)

Page views of Rainer Weisses by language


Among physicists, Rainer Weiss ranks 260 out of 717Before him are Klaus Fuchs, Daniel Rutherford, Osborne Reynolds, Anthony James Leggett, John Cockcroft, and Moshé Feldenkrais. After him are Abdul Qadeer Khan, John Hasbrouck Van Vleck, Philip Warren Anderson, Hugh David Politzer, Jack Steinberger, and Henry Way Kendall.

Most Popular Physicists in Wikipedia

Go to all Rankings


Among people born in 1932, Rainer Weiss ranks 72Before him are David Scott, Sonny Liston, Pierre-Gilles de Gennes, Thomas Klestil, Petula Clark, and Walter Gilbert. After him are Naina Yeltsina, Fernando Arrabal, Emmanuelle Arsan, Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani, Shintaro Ishihara, and Michael Smith.

Others Born in 1932

Go to all Rankings

In Germany

Among people born in Germany, Rainer Weiss ranks 1,060 out of 6,142Before him are Karl Ludwig Harding (1765), Princess Alexandrine of Baden (1820), Hanns Eisler (1898), Sophie Amalie of Brunswick-Lüneburg (1628), Gabriele Münter (1877), and Georg Wilhelm Steller (1709). After him are Karl von Bülow (1846), Johann Jakob Froberger (1616), Caroline of Brunswick (1768), Gerhard Herzberg (1904), Carl Gustav Hempel (1905), and Killing of Peter Fechter (1944).

Among PHYSICISTS In Germany

Among physicists born in Germany, Rainer Weiss ranks 39Before him are Carl von Linde (1842), Klaus Hasselmann (1931), Georg Bednorz (1950), John B. Goodenough (1922), Theodor W. Hänsch (1941), and Klaus Fuchs (1911). After him are Jack Steinberger (1921), Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker (1912), Ludwig Prandtl (1875), Ernst Chladni (1756), Friedrich Hund (1896), and Horst Ludwig Störmer (1949).