This Pakistani Born is Part of LIGO Team that Discovered Gravitational Waves!

By now you must be aware of the ground breaking discovery of gravitational waves made by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO). The announcement, made yesterday, has been called one of the most significant scientific advances of the modern era. And a Pakistani born scientist is among the team that made this breakthrough discovery.

Dr. Nergis Mavalvala, a professor of Physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was born in Karachi and immigrated to the US as a teenager. After getting a B.A. in Physics and Astronomy from Wellesley College in 1990, she went on to receive her Ph.D. in Physics from MIT in 1997. A stint as a research scientist at Caltech was followed by her joining the Physics faculty at MIT in 2002.

Her work on gravitational waves was part of her research in graduate school at MIT, where she now is an associate department head of Physics. She credits her success to a host of mentors who’ve helped her get to where she is now with a special mention going out to the chemistry teacher in Pakistan who let her play with reagents in the lab after school.

If you’re unaware of the details, here’s the gist. Scientists, Nergis among them, have observed the warping of space-time generated by two black holes merging more than a billion light-years from Earth. It’s a massive confirmation of Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity and gives us a whole new way of looking at the universe.

Astronomy, before this landmark discovery, relied on light for observations whether it was UV, infrared or any other frequency. With gravitational waves, we now have an entirely different way of observing the universe.

Here’s what a LIGO scientist on Reddit had to say about the importance of these findings, ‘This discovery has ushered in an awesome new era of astronomy. Before we started detecting gravitational waves, looking out at the universe was like watching an orchestra without any sound. As our detectors start making regular observations of this stuff, it will be like turning on our ears to the symphony of the cosmos!’.

Prof Karsten Danzmann, from the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics and Leibniz University in Hannover, Germany, told the BBC:

There is a Nobel Prize in it – there is no doubt.

It is the first ever direct detection of gravitational waves; it’s the first ever direct detection of black holes and it is a confirmation of General Relativity because the property of these black holes agrees exactly with what Einstein predicted almost exactly 100 years ago.

Will a Pakistani be among the team that receives a Nobel prize for the detection of gravitational waves? Only time will tell. Till then, it’s another feather in the cap for Pakistan and Dr. Nergis Mavalvala, to whom we wish our most heartfelt congratulations. Keep making our country proud!

via Umar Saif

Talal is the Director of Content and Strategy at ProPakistani. Reach out at [email protected]

  • han ab toh ab salay sab proud to be paki bolo ge na tum. yahan usa main indian banay phirtay ho hahahah

  • Pakistan did nothing for her and now you’re proud of her individual achievements? I wonder why she immigrated?

    • Keep wondering lol and let us as a nation celebrate our genius lady who made us proud..Welldone Nergis Mavalvala!!

      • It is up on the nation to make a stand. Pakistan already showed that they do try to make things better. And it will make better over time, you just need to use all your resources in regard of people – men and women alike, regardles of gender – every sex could benefit from joined effort. I am keeping my fingers crossed, friends.

    • I am amazed that we own success stories and disown terrorists of Pakistani origin? btw, we are certainly suffering from inferiority complex and low self esteem.
      I asked/read many people, to find out what would verification of gravitational waves bring? They told me squat except general statements of a hopeful. If a scientist cant be precise, their argument is mere petitio principii.

    • Oh bhai, enough of extremism.. Muslims are responsible for their own actions. She is living in a country that supports human values (Albeit for their own). If you really want to rise Islam in the world, mend yourself instead of blaming Jews and Christians for your own mistakes. We are the biggest culprits and we have to make tauba and mend ourselves. Only then we will be able to become super power. So please ditch extremist views and please start building a superpower.

      • Look at the history Muslims produced best scientist and were ruler of whole world.But now we bow down in front of these Kafir nations and are treated like animals syrian crisis is great example for that.That lady in the post is not a muslim so getting good treatment and secondly she is not giving any benefit to Pakistan. So stop appreciating these sold out people and appreciate your own country talent.You want to live in these nations as a 3rd class citizen you are welcome to go and bow in front of them for so called rights.

        • I think your visa to those countries was refused. Actually they have sufficient brain to screen out “chawals”. Otherwise Pakistanis are in much better conditions in those countries than in so called Muslim countries like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and ……

        • Plz keep your B.S to yourself. She’s a pakistani first. To whatever religion she belongs. You leave this country and join ISIS. Leave us in peace!

          • Yeah before pakistani, she (her parents) were British n before that they were Germanians, and before that they were vikings n before that….. they were Adam-anians. Where does your sickness of nationalism stop. Get out of your pigeonhole syndrome.

            Come to think of it she is “Some karachi hospital gynecology section, room #x n bed # x-ian first”.
            Down with Asabiyyah.

            “Nooo go live there, this is our land. our daddies drew a line for us. This is all ours now. yap yap yap…”

    • an Indian speaking about a Pakistani living in a Kaafir country. Shame on you… Keep your bullshit with yourself.. Aaap ny kya kar lia hy Musalman mulk m rah kar.. Kam az kam us ko appreciate karo chahy wo jahan b rahta ho bus Pakistani hona chahye..

  • It is very nice. Now other Pakistanis should have distinct contributions in their field, as well.

  • “The believers are but brothers,..”49:10

    Our fellow (bros/sis) have been pre-decided FULLlSTOP

    our “Walaa” for believers n our “Baraa” from guess what ?

    has already been for you an excellent pattern in Abraham and those with
    him, when they said to their people, “Indeed, we are disassociated from
    you and from whatever you worship other than Allah . We have denied
    you, and there has appeared between us and you animosity and hatred
    forever until you believe in Allah alone”..”60:4

  • Very nice! While not being of Pakistani origin, I can only congratulate you. Now you should move forward emancipation of more women. Just take a look how many potential geniuses your country does have hidden there…embrace them. You can only profit from that.

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