Nergis Mavalvala

Pakistani-American quantum astrophysicist

Nergis Mavalvala (born 1968) is a Pakistani-American astrophysicist known for her role in the first observation of gravitational waves.[1] She is the Curtis and Kathleen Marble Professor of Astrophysics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where she is also the Associate Head of the Department of Physics.[2] She was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in 2010.[3][4]

Nergis Mavalvala
Born1968 (age 53–54)
United States
Known forInterferometric gravitational waves, quantum measurement
Awards2013 Joseph F. Keithley Award For Advances in Measurement Science, MacArthur Fellows
Scientific career
FieldsAstrophysics and Quantum Physics
InstitutionsMassachusetts Institute of Technology
ThesisAlignment issues in laser interferometric gravitational-wave detectors (1997)
Doctoral advisorRainer Weiss

Mavalvala is best known for her work on the detection of gravitational waves in the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) project.[1][5][6]


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Gravitational wave researcher succeeds by being herself". ScienceMag - AAAS. Retrieved 18 February 2016.
  2. "Nergis Mavalvala - MIT Department of Physics". Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Retrieved 18 February 2016.
  3. "Nergis Mavalvala - MacArthur Foundation". MacArthur Foundation. Retrieved 18 February 2016.
  4. "Nergis Mavalvala and Five Exceptional Stories Of Women In STEM". AutoStraddle. 24 February 2016. Retrieved 25 February 2016.
  5. "MIT Kavli Institute Directory - MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research". Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Retrieved 18 February 2016.
  6. Krishnan, Madhuvanti S. (25 February 2016). "Making waves". The Hindu. Retrieved 25 February 2016.

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