By Patricia Daukantas
Whoops – yesterday I forgot to note that a second OSA member is among the 23 winners of the annual “genius grant” from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
OSA member Nergis Mavalvala, a physics professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (U.S.A.), has done significant research at the intersection of optics, quantum physics and gravity. MacArthur Fellows receive $500,000 over five years with no strings attached.
When Mavalvala, now 42, was still a graduate student, she developed a prototype laser interferometer for detecting gravity waves. The principles of that instrument were later incorporated into the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO).
The MacArthur Foundation has put a brief biography and video of Mavalvala online. OPN published more information on LIGO in the May 2008 issue and the July 1995 issue.
2010-09 September, Applied optics, Astrophysics, Lasers