India's black hole scientist, C.V. Vishveshwara passes away at the age of 78

C.V. Vishveshwara was a pioneer in black hole research and was among the first to analyse the structure of black holes.


C.V. Vishveshwara, the scientist who’s better known as India’s black hole scientist, passed away yesterday at the age of 78.

Vishveshwara was a pioneer in black hole research and was among the first to analyse the structure of black holes. He was also the man who discovered the so-called quasinormal modes (which describe the perturbations of an energy field as it decays over time) of black holes and who proved the stability of a non-rotating Schwarzchild black hole (one that has no electric charge or angular momentum).

As The Hindu describes it, Vishveshwara’s calculations described the signal that’s formed when two black holes merge, the same waveform that was detected by a LIGO facility in the US.

Vishveshwara has authored a number of technical papers, co-edited and published books on relativity and was the director of India’s first planetarium in Bengaluru.

Vishveshwara joined the Columbia University to study particle physics and later, transferred to the University of Maryland to study General Relativity, where he earned his Ph.D. He has served at various universities in the US and on returning to India, served at the Raman Research Institute and the Indian Institute of Astrophysics.

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