Mahidol University International College (MUIC) is proud to announce that one of its faculty members at the Science Division was part of the scientific team whose research won its lead researchers the Nobel Prize in Physics 2017.
Dr. Tara Chalermsongsak, Director of the Physics Program, was doing his doctoral studies at the California Institute of Technology when he participated in the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) project, a collaborative scientific effort participated in by over 1,000 researchers from more than 20 countries.
According to a press release by the Nobel Prize Committee, “On September 14, 2015, the universe’s gravitational waves were observed for the very first time (by LIGO). The waves, which were predicted by Albert Einstein a hundred years ago, came from a collision between two black holes. It took 1.3 billion years for the waves to arrive at the LIGO detector in the USA.”
Dr. Tara modestly downplayed his contribution to the LIGO team. “I worked in the LIGO collaboration when I was doing my Ph.D. at Caltech. About a year after I graduated, the team finally detected the first gravitational wave. It is a team achievement, and I was just a small part of it.”
However, in the research paper entitled “Observation of Gravitational Waves from a Binary Black Hole Merger” published in the journal Physical Review Letters on February 12, 2016, Dr. Tara and scores of other participating researchers were given well-deserved credit for their contributions to the award-winning LIGO project.