Tuesday, 15 September
12:30 – 13:30
Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
Nergis Mavalvala, Marble Professor of Astrophysics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a 2010 recipient of a MacArthur "genius" award, is a physicist whose research focuses on the detection of gravitational waves. She is a longstanding member of the scientific team that announced the first direct detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory. Mavalvala has also conducted pioneering experiments on generation and application of squeezed states of light, and on laser cooling and trapping of macroscopic objects to enable observation of quantum phenomena in human-scale systems. Mavalvala received a BA from Wellesley College and a PhD from MIT. She was a postdoctoral fellow and research scientist at the California Institute of Technology before joining the Physics faculty at MIT in 2002.