Nergis Mavalvala – Pakistani Mastermind Behind the Discovery of Gravitational Waves

by Maira Farhan
Published: Last Updated on

Getting to Know Nergis Mavalvala

Nergis Mavalvala is an astrophysicist, born in Pakistan. Currently she is the professor of Physics in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1990, after completing her bachelor’s in Astronomy and Physics from Wellesley College, she continued with her PhD from MIT in Physics in the year 1997.

The Prediction of Gravitational Waves

In 1916, as a result of the general relativity theory, the existence of gravitational waves was predicted by Albert Einstein. Gravitational waves are a way of observing the space. Such waves can inform us more about the way in which universe came into being. Hence, detecting these waves can provide us with new insights about the cosmic events producing them. Moreover, the gravitational waves can help physicists in understanding the universe’s fundamental laws. These are basically a significant part of the theory of relativity proposed by Einstein.

Nergis Mavalvala and The LIGO Team Discovering Gravitational Waves

Dr. Mavalvala is known for being one of the key figures in the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) team for the ground breaking detection of gravitational waves. This discovery has paved way to a new era in astronomy. Prior to this landmark discovery, astronomy relied mainly on lights like infrared, UV or other frequencies for observations. With the discovery of gravitational waves, the universe can now be observed in a completely different way.

Mavalvala’s Role in Discovering Gravitational Waves

The work of Dr. Mavalvala on gravitational waves was in fact a part of a research she conducted in MIT. She observed the space-time warping produced by two black holes combing above billion light-years from Earth. Nergis Mavalava is not doubt another feather in cap for Pakistan who deserves heartfelt congratulations for making the country proud!

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