Len Mott ’66


by Steven Bodnar

Though they didn’t know it at first, Associate Professor of Physics Steven Penn and Len Mott ’66 had been linked on the path to detecting gravitational waves well before realizing their HWS connection.

With more than four decades of experience in manufacturing optical thinfilm components, Mott is co-founder and managing partner of MLD Technologies, a company that designs and produces high-performance optical coatings and components used for commercial, scientific, medical and aerospace purposes. Mott’s company is behind some of the mirror coatings that Penn uses in his LIGO experiments.

The two finally met when Mott was on campus for his 40th Reunion. “I introduced myself as the ‘M’ in MLD Technologies,” recalled Mott, who majored in physics.

The two met up again at Mott’s 50th Reunion in June. “MLD is one of only a few manufacturers in the world who can produce the kind of coatings we need,” says Penn. “Len and MLD Technologies have been a wonderful partner in our research. They should share in the glow of our discovery because their work was an important contribution to Advanced LIGO and to our future detectors. Len deserves great credit for building a company that values and fosters the growth of scientific knowledge.”


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