Malaysian scientist part of team that proved Einstein’s gravitational waves theory

Hafizah Noor Isa

A Malaysian woman is among the international group of scientists who made the ground-breaking discovery of Albert Einstein’s gravitational waves theory.

Malaysian-born Hafizah Noor Isa was a student and researcher at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) and Universiti Islam Antarabangsa (UIA)

A PhD candidate at the University of Glasgow and a member of the Institute for Gravitational Research there, Hafizah contributed to the scientific paper “Observation of Gravitational Waves from a Binary Black Hole Merger”, a discovery celebrated in international headlines last week after a decades-long quest for what some had termed “the holy grail of science”.

The achievement sparked a constellation of congratulations from Malaysia’s academia, including Universiti Putra Malaysia physics professor Hishamuddin Zainuddin, who shared excerpts from the paper on his Facebook account.

“Was happy that she came to the talk by Prof Martin Henry that we organised in UPM on Gravitational Wave Astronomy. Little things like this make us happy,” he added in the comment thread.

Hafizah’s kind nature was also praised by Anne Annira Azmahira, who congratulated her on Facebook.

“Yup, this is the girl who gave me a place to stay when I was at Glasgow,” she said.

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Hafizah was involved in the United States’ LIGO-led (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory) project through her work in the GEO600 experiment.

The GEO600 is part of a worldwide network of gravitational wave detectors.

“All members of GEO600 are also members of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration,” the LIGO website states.

LIGO, pair of giant laser detectors in the United States, detected remarkably small vibrations from gravitational waves as they passed through the Earth.

The scientists converted the wave signal into audio waves and listened to the sounds of the black holes merging.

Reports say that the scientists first detected the waves in September 2015.

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