What are gravitational waves ?
In physics, gravitational waves are ripples in the curvature of spacetime that move as a wave, travelling outward from the source. Albert Einstein predicted them in 1916 on the basis of his theory of general relativity. In theory, gravitational waves transport energy asgravitational radiation.
Pakistani-born astrophysicist Dr Nergis Mavalvala was among the team of scientists who, for the first time, observed ripples in the fabric of spacetime called gravitational waves.
She is , Associate Department Head of Physics at MIT and a member of the team of scientists that achieved the milestone of detecting gravitational waves, ripples in space and time hypothesised by physicist Albert Einstein a century ago.
Professor Mavalvala, whose career spans 20 years, has published extensively in her field and has been working with MIT since 2002.
Born to a Parsi family in Karachi, Mavalvala received her early education from the Convent of Jesus and Mary school, an administration official from the educational institute.She later moved to the United States as a teenager to attend Wellesley College in Massachusetts. Since meeting Weiss in 1991, Dr Mavalvala went deeper into research on gravitational waves. By the time she received her PhD in 1997, she was already working on building LIGO.
She focused on instrument development for LIGO during her post-doctoral work at California Institute of Technology (CalTech) before joining LIGO as a staff scientist in 2000.
Imran Khan from Quetta has been known to have worked with a team of scientists at Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) that recorded gravitational waves for the first time in history.
The 25-year-old, a graduate of FAST, worked with Gran Sasso Science Institute (GSSI), one of the institutions involved in the research.
Imran secured 892 marks in intermediate and then availed a scholarship from FAST Peshawar, to complete his Bachelors of Science (BS) in Telecommunication Engineering in 2011.
He was the offered a scholarship in MS Optoelectronics and Photonics Engineering by a Turkish institute in 2015. He is currently pursuing his PhD at Gran Sasso Science Institute (GSSI) in Italy.