B. S. Sathyaprakash, Elsbach Professor of Physics and Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics has been elected as a Fellow of the American Physical Society for his leadership in and wide-ranging contributions to gravitational wave science. The society is the largest physics organization in the world and publishes a wide range of research journals.
The APS Fellowship Program recognizes members who have made advances in knowledge through original research and publication, have made significant and innovative contributions in the application of physics to science and technology, or who have made significant contributions to the teaching of physics or to service opportunities and activities of the society. Each year the society elects no more than one-half of one percent of its then-current membership to the status of Fellow in the American Physical Society.
Sathyaprakash currently focuses his research on understanding the sources of gravitational waves—ripples in the fabric of spacetime detected for the first time in 2016, 100 years after they were predicted to exist by Einstein. His research group analyzes and interprets data from interferometric gravitational wave detectors such as LIGO in the U.S. and Virgo in Europe in the search for the mergers of compact astronomical objects like neutron stars and black holes. He also plays a leadership role in an international effort to formulate the science case for the next generation of gravitational-wave detectors.
Sathyaprakash’s previous awards and honors include being elected as a Fellow of the International Society on General Relativity and Gravitation in 2019, the Institute of Physics in 2013, and the Royal Astronomical Society in 2006. He was a member of the team that received the Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics in 2016 and was a Research Fellow of the Leverhulme Trust in U.K. from 2002 to 2004. He has authored or coauthored over 300 research papers and presented his research in plenary lectures around the world.
Prior to joining the faculty at Penn State, Sathyaprakash was a professor of gravitational physics from 2003 to 2016 and lecturer, senior lecturer, and reader in physics and astronomy from 1996 to 2003 at Cardiff University in the United Kingdom. He was a visiting fellow at the California Institute of Technology in 1996, a postdoctoral fellow and scientist at the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics in Pune, India from 1989 to 1995, and a postdoctoral fellow at the International Centre for Theoretical Physics in Trieste, Italy from 1992 to 1993. Sathyaprakash earned a doctoral degree in theoretical physics at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, India in 1987, a master's degree in physics at the Indian Institute of Technology in Madras, India in 1981, and a bachelor's degree in physics, chemistry, and mathematics at Bangalore University in Bangalore, India in 1976.