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Nov. 12, 2018

Cardiff University scientist wins award for gravitational wave detection

Cardiff UniversityA scientist from Cardiff University has been awarded the prestigious Philip Leverhulme Prize for her exceptional scientific work.

Dr Katherine Dooley, from Cardiff University’s School of Physics and Astronomy has been involved in creating the ultra-sensitive detectors needed to glimpse gravitational waves for the very first time – and this fascinating research has resulted in her being given the prestigious £100,000 prize.

Head of the School of Physics and Astronomy at Cardiff University, Professor Matt Griffin, enthuses, “I’m delighted that Katherine’s ground-breaking work has been recognised with this prestigious prize. She is an extremely talented and well-regarded scientist who has already made a significant contribution to the field of astronomy in her early career. The detection of gravitational waves was arguably one of the greatest scientific discoveries of modern times and it would not have been possible without Katherine’s key contributions.”

He continues, “With the help of this award we can continue to grow our experimental gravitational wave research program here at Cardiff University and develop the future technologies and techniques needed for the next generation of gravitational wave observatories.”

Gravitational waves were first predicted by Albert Einstein over 100 years ago, and are tiny ripples in space-time that are emitted as a result of extreme cosmic events, such as the colliding of two black holes. Dr Dooley has spent four years researching at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) in the US and is now establishing a program of experimental research into gravitational wave astronomy at Cardiff University, having joined the university in 2018.

Dr Dooley gained her PhD in Physics from the University of Florida in 2011, before moving on to postdoctoral research roles at the Albert-Einstein Institute in Hannover, Germany and the California Institute of Technology.

Every year, the Leverhulme Trust awards 30 Philip Leverhulme Prizes to recognise researchers whose work has had a significant international impact.

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Content added on 12th November 2018. 

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