Bangladeshis are proud of Selim Shahriar as the US-based Bangladeshi professor led one of the teams of scientists at Northwestern University in the historic event of detecting the gravitational waves, a discovery that confirms Albert Einstein’s famous theory of relativity.The US scientists at a news conference in Washington on 11 February said that they detected gravitational waves that were the product of a collision between two black holes, located 1.3 billion light years from Earth. It was detected through LIGO [Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory]Professor Selim Shahriar, who leads the experimental portion of Northwestern University’s chapter of the LIGO(LaseInterferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory) Scientific Collaboration, the international consortium that made the groundbreaking discovery, comes from Bera, Pabna, in Bangladesh.The bulletin of Maccormic School of Engineering at Northwestern University ran a story covering Prof Selim Shahriar’s contributions to the scientific mileIn a telephonic conversation on Monday [Sunday in USA], Selim Shahriar recalled his days in Bangladesh.
He was a student of Bipin Bihari High School in Bera. His father Azim Uddin Ahmed was a mathematics teacher in the same school.Selim, an electrical engineering and computer science professor at Northwestern University, is also a LIGO member. Selim is also director of the Atomic and Photonic Technology Laboratory [APTL].Selim and three of his students authored the research papers about the detection of gravitational waves and those were published in Physical Review Letters. He has been working to improve the sensitivity of LIGO detectors and broaden the spectrum the detectors are sensitive to for 10 years.“When Einstein first came up with this idea, it was unimaginable that we would ever be able to measure such a small change,” said Selim in the bulletin after the discovery. “We’re talking about a difference so small that it’s incredible that people can even think about measuring it now.”At 5:51am on 14 September, 2015, two L-shaped antennas located on opposite sides of the United States blipped out of place. The displacement lasted just 0.2 seconds and moved a distance that is 1,000 times smaller than a proton. But this tiny event carried an enormous amount of information about the birth and nature of the universe.The event confirms the existence of gravitational waves, a major prediction of Albert Einstein’s 1915 theory of general relativity.Shahriar and his team are now working on improving the effectiveness of the LIGO.