UK physicist tours India as part of IOP lecture exchange

20 November 2015

UK physicist Professor Sheila Rowan has visited four cities in India to lecture on gravitational waves as part of an exchange lectureship programme between the Institute of Physics and the Indian Physics Association.

Professor Sheila Rowan

Rowan, who is director of the Institute for Gravitational Research at the University of Glasgow, was in the country from 29 October to 8 November to give the Cockcroft-Walton lectures. These are part of a scheme to strengthen co-operation between the two organisations, with lectures being delivered in alternate years in India by a Great Britain- or Ireland-based physicist (the Cockcroft Walton Lectures), and in Great Britain or Ireland by an India-based physicist (the Homi Bhabha Visiting Lectures).

Rowan spoke on “The search for gravitational waves: ripples from the dark side of the Universe” at the University of Delhi, the Indian Institute of Technology in Mumbai, the Indian Institute of Technology in Chennai and the Raja Ramanna Centre for Advanced Technology in Indore, during her tour.

She said the information carried by gravitational waves could provide insights into violent episodes such as the formation of black holes or the primordial events following the Big Bang. Rowan leads a team of around 60 researchers at Glasgow, where she is a professor of experimental physics. She is a fellow of the IOP, was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2008 and made a fellow of the American Physical Society in 2012. She was awarded the Leverhulme Prize for Astronomy and Astrophysics in 2005.