Keralite scientist on a journey to unlock mysteries of the universe
Malappuram: A Keralite scientist is part of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) research team that is trying to solve the mystery surrounding the origin of the universe.
Dr. Ajith Parameswaran is the only Keralite who is part of the team that made the recent breakthrough in the field of gravitational wave research. He was awarded the best Young Scientist award by the World Academy of Science the other day. Ajith Parameswaran spoke to Mathrubhumi soon after this.
Significance of importance of Gravitational-Wave research?
We understand and learn about the visible and invisible world with the help of light waves. However, there are several areas in the universe where these light waves cannot enter, like the black holes. Studying about the universe would amount to nothing without understanding these areas. It was in this context that Albert Einstein’s prediction came to be useful.
Einstein’s theory predicts that extremely heavy objects moving at an extremely high speed cause gravitational waves. Although Einstein’s theory is more than 100 years old, gravitational waves were felt for the first time only 5 years back.
What is Gravitational-Wave Observation?
Gravitational-Wave Observation is the latest and revolutionary branch of Astronomy. Gravitational waves were felt for the first time 5 years back. We identified more than 50 different gravitational waves that were caused due to the collision between black holes and neutron stars. We can listen to this by converting it into sound. This means that apart from sight based research, sound based research is also becoming a possibility.
Using gravitational waves, we can see many things that would not have been possible otherwise. This will be the most important method to learn about black holes and the origin of the universe.
India’s contribution in this field of research?
There is serious research being done in the country in this field. There are more than 100 Indians in the ‘LIGO Scientific Collaboration’, which is an international Organisation. Many Keralites are also part of this. There is also an attempt to establish a ‘LIGO India’ project in Maharashtra in order to observe gravitational waves.
How did you venture into this field of research?
It was by accident that I entered this field. I studied in Chemmaniyode Government LP School and Malayattur RM High School. During my post graduation at MG University, I had the opportunity to participate in a summer project under Professor Sanjeev Dhurandhar, who is one of the most renowned experts in gravitational wave research. Later, I continued my studies in this field and received my PhD from Germany.
Ajith Parameswaran is currently working at International Centre for Theoretical Science in Bengaluru. His family includes wife Priyanka, who is an architect, and their daughter Nirupama.