Nergis Mavalvala, PhD is a physicist who was part of the team of scientists who made the first direct detection of gravitational waves. Before moving to the United States in 1986, she lived in Pakistan, where she was free to explore her interests. Negris discovered her passion for physics and research during her undergrad. After graduating with a bachelor’s from Wellesley College she pursued her graduate degrees at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). One of her biggest accomplishments happened in 2016. During that time, Dr. Mavalvala was part of a team of scientists that used the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) to successfully detect ripples produced by two black holes colliding, which confirmed one of Einstein’s main predictions in his general theory of relativity.

Learn more at National Schools’ Observatory.