Rana Adhikari, professor of physics at California Institute of Technology was awarded the New Horizons Prize in fundamental physics, “for research on present and future ground-based detectors of gravitational waves.” The prize is shared with Matthew Evans and Lisa Barsotti of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Awarded by the same foundation that issues the Breakthrough Prizes, the New Horizons Prizes honors early-career achievements in physics and mathematics.
Professor Adhikari is a world-leading expert on the experimental physics of gravitational-wave detection and is among the key scientists responsible for the success of the US-based Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO), which made the first detection of gravitational waves in 2015. Adhikari is a close associate of the Indian gravitational-wave community and is actively involved in the LIGO-India project, which aims to build a gravitational-wave observatory in India. Professor Adhikari’s lab at Caltech been hosting several Indian students under the LIGO-IndIGO Summer Students Program.