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Craig Cahillane

Craig Cahillane

Craig Cahillane

Pronouns: He/his
Assistant Professor





  • PhD in experimental gravity, 2021, California Institute of Technology.
  • Bachelors in Advanced Physics and Computer Science, 2014, University of Notre Dame

Social/Academic Links

Biographic Overview

Prior to joining Syracuse University, Cahillane was a postdoc at LIGO Hanford Observatory from 2021-22 where he locked and analyzed the performance of the Advanced LIGO gravitational-wave detectors. Cahillane’s research includes interferometric measurement, modeling and simulation, with a focus on explaining the measured noise via simulation, and precision inference of detector parameters, with the ultimate goal of improving current detector sensitivity. He also works on development of Cosmic Explorer, the U.S. based next-generation gravitational wave observatory, which will profoundly expand our sensitivity to gravitational wave sources in the early universe.

Research Interests

Experimental gravity, astrophysics, lasers, optics

Research Specializations

Long-baseline interferometry for detecting gravitational


Craig Cahillane, Georgia L. Mansell, and Daniel Sigg. “Laser frequency noise in next generation gravitational-wave detectors”. In: Opt. Express 29.25 (Dec. 2021), pp. 42144–42161. doi: 10.1364/OE.439253. url:

Thesis: Cahillane, Craig. “Controlling and Calibrating Interferometric Gravitational Wave Detectors”.
PhD thesis. 2021. doi: 10.7907/76JJ-MR73. url:

Cahillane, Craig et al. “Calibration uncertainty for Advanced LIGO’s first and second observing runs”. In: Phys. Rev. D 96 (10 Nov. 2017), p. 102001. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevD.96.102001. url:

A. Buikema, Cahillane, C., G. L. Mansell, C. D. Blair, et al. “Sensitivity and performance of the Advanced LIGO detectors in the third observing run”. In: Phys. Rev. D 102 (6 Sept. 2020), p. 062003. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevD.102.062003. url:

Honors and Awards

2016 Breakthrough Prize in Physics

Five NSF Grants Fund Syracuse University Researchers’ Work with Cosmic Explorer

(Oct. 10, 2023)

Researchers from the University’s new Center for Gravitational Wave Astronomy and Astrophysics are at the intellectual center of the next-generation observatory.

Syracuse University Launches the Center for Gravitational Wave Astronomy and Astrophysics

(Sept. 25, 2023)

The new center officially launched with an opening ceremony featuring distinguished speakers from Harvard, MIT and Princeton.