Four young interns from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, are spending 10 weeks at The University of Western Australia's Gravitational Wave Research Laboratories and the Gravity Discovery Centre in Gingin working on what is described as physics' most exciting frontier.
Aged from 20 to 22, the Engineering/Physics students are in the second year of their undergraduate degrees. Abhishek Sharan from Udaipur in Rajasthan, said he and his fellow interns enjoyed quantifying nature through the study of physics. "However, for us gravitational waves is a completely new and fascinating field," he said.
The others in the group are Pushkar Kopparla from Bangalore in Karnataka and Parampreet Walia and Jaspreet Sandhu, both from Chandigarh in Punjab. For all four, this is their first trip out of India.
Winthrop Professor David Blair of UWA's School of Physics and Director of the Australian International Gravitational Research Centre said it was a compliment that the gravitational wave laboratories had been chosen by the Indian Institute of Technology as a major internship destination for its students.
"The interns are confronted with exciting science, including meeting the discoverer of the mathematical description of black holes, visiting New Zealand mathematician Emeritus Professor Roy Kerr, whose ‘Kerr solution' will contribute to the understanding of the signatures of gravitational waves," Professor Blair said. "Einstein predicted gravitational waves in 1916; Joseph Taylor proved that they exist in 1993; and now physicists around the world are confident that within the next decade the waves will be detected.
"As well as working on this new spectrum, the interns are also experiencing a radically different lifestyle: meeting Australian families; living in a remote laboratory out in the bush; seeing kangaroos, cockatoos and tiger snakes; learning to cook; and, on the weekends, helping out at the Gravity Discovery Centre where they show kids how to repeat Galileo's experiments from our unique Leaning Tower of Gingin!"
Winthrop Professor David Blair (+61 8) 6488 2736 / (+61 4) 009 687 703
(UWA School of Physics and Director, Australian
International Gravitational Research Centre)
Janine MacDonald (UWA Public Affairs) (+61 8) 6488 5563 / (+61 4) 32 637 716