Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Rafael Porto wins the Guy C. Berry Graduate Research Award
The Guy C. Berry Graduate Research Award, which recognizes excellence in research by MCS graduate students, was presented to Rafael Porto during the college’s Annual Faculty Meeting on April 30. A graduate student in the Department of Physics, Porto was commended for calculating the theoretical interaction between spinning black holes -- a problem that has puzzled theoretical physicists for nearly 80 years. As two black holes approach each other, the effects of gravity cause each hole to deform, resulting in ripples in the fabric of space-time, or gravitational waves. Porto’s contribution to the theory of how these gravitational waves are produced provides a powerful tool for future gravitational wave experiments. According to Physics Professor Ira Rothstein, Porto’s research advisor, Porto “has become a world expert on the subject of gravity, an extremely difficult subject that usually takes years to master.” Porto has published papers in Physical Review D and Physical Review Letters, one of the most difficult physics journals in which to publish.
See also the article in the MCS news.