New Garden Honors Work of Professor Weber
Installed in the fall of 2018 on the south side of the Physical Sciences Complex, the Weber Memorial Garden honors the work of Professor Joseph Weber (1919-2000). This garden features an installation of solid aluminum cylinders that were the cores of gravitational-wave “bar” detectors, which were invented, built, and operated by Professor Weber. Each bar was hung horizontally by cables at its middle, leaving he ends free to vibrate. Electromechanical sensors were attached to the bars to pick up the tiny oscillations that would be induced by passing gravitational waves emitted from astrophysical objects in the universe, as predicted by Einstein’s general theory of relativity. His visionary efforts led to the birth of a new field of research, which eventually came to fruition with the direct detection of gravitational waves in 2015.
The garden is planted with dianthus, lamb's ear, and oakleaf hydrangea, with a crushed stone edging.