Skip to main content
Hartmut Grote

Professor Hartmut Grote


Gravity Exploration Institute

School of Physics and Astronomy

Queen's Buildings - North Building, Room N/1.08, 5 The Parade, Newport Road, Cardiff, CF24 3AA


I am a Professor of Physics in the Gravity Exploration Institute.

My main expertise and experience is in experimental gravitational physics research, in particular instrumentation for gravitational wave detectors. I am also interested in exploring how to apply precision interferometry to fundamental physics, as for example in the search for dark matter.

I am Prinipal Investigator to the consortium "Quantum-Enhanced Interferometry for New Physics", in which we search for new particles beyond the standard model and for experimental signatures of quantization of space-time or semi-classical gravity. More on our consortium can be found here:

QI Consortium






I co-edited the 2-volume book "Advanced Interferometric Gravitational-Wave Detectors" (World Scientific, 2019):

Advanced Detector Book

and published a book introducing a brief history of gravitational-wave research, the workings of the detectors, and the first detections for a general audience (CRC Press, 2019)

Gravitational-Wave Book

the German version of the book can be found here (C.H. Beck, 2018):

Gravitational-Wave Book (German version)














Adrannau llyfrau




My research interest is in instrumentation for gravitational wave detectors, and how these complex machines can be made more sensitive and reliable. Interferometric gravitational wave detectors embody phyiscs and engineering from many disciplines, like mechanics, optics, control systems, electronics, computing, solid state physics, and vacuum technology.

Examples of my particular interests are: Improving the readout methods with which gravitational wave information is obtained from the optical output of what we call the main interferometer, understanding and improving the complex alignment system of gravitational wave detectors that hold all optics at their correct angles at all times, and researching ways to reduce the quantum noise in interferometers.

I also have an interest in the application of precision interferometry techniques to other fundamental physics questions, like the measurement of birefringence of the vacuum, the search for new particles beyond the standard model, and more exotic questions.



PX4230/PXT128 Physics and Reality

PXT901 Experimental Gravitational-Wave Physics I


PX4133 / PXT127 Modern Quantum Optics

PXT902 Experimental Gravitational-Wave Physics II


  • since 2018: Faculty member in the School of Physics and Astronomy, Cardiff University. Chair of experimental gravitational-wave physics
  • 2009 – 2017: Scientific leader of the GEO600 gravitational wave detector
  • 2015 – 2016: Visiting research associate at Caltech / LIGO Livingston Observatory
  • 2004 – 2014: Various research visits to NAOJ (Japan) and LIGO Laboratory (Caltech and LIGO Livingston Observatory)
  • 2003 – 2008: Research fellow, Max-Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute), Hannover: Commissioning and noise analysis of GEO600
  • 2003: Phd (Doctorate) in physics from Leibniz Universität Hannover, Germany
  • 1999 – 2003: Scientific assistant, Max-Planck institute for gravitational physics. Locking and automatic alignment of GEO600
  • 1993 – 1997: Systems developer, Research laboratories of Medical University of Hannover. Development of special research equipment for medical research (Self-learning heart beat detection, leg length measurement machine, ergometer calorimeter)

Honours and awards

  • Leibinger Innovation Award, 1st Prize 2023, together with H. Vahlbruch and B. Willke. Awarded every 2 years for outstanding contributions to laser science and applications.
  • Special breakthrough prize in fundamental physics awarded to R. W. P. Drever, K. S. Thorne, R. Weiss, and 1012 contributors to the discovery of gravitational waves, 2016
  • Gruber Cosmology Prize awarded awarded to R. W. P. Drever, K. S. Thorne, R. Weiss, and the members of the LIGO and Virgo collaborations, 2016
  • JSPS (Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science) fellowship, 2008
  • Prize for best pre-diploma (bachelor equivalent) thesis