A School of Physics adjunct professor who served as a founding director of the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute – AEI), helped spark the creation of the Center for Relativistic Astrophysics (CRA) at Georgia Tech, and laid the analytical foundation in the search for gravitational waves is now the recipient of top honors from the world’s oldest independent scientific academy.
Bernard F. Schutz, also a professor in the School of Physics and Astronomy at Cardiff University, has been elected as a Fellow to the Royal Society, the United Kingdom’s national academy of sciences. Schutz joins a number of distinguished individuals in his scientific discipline — Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, and Michael Faraday, to name a few — as a Royal Society Fellow.
Schutz is honored and elected for seminal contributions to relativistic astrophysics, including driving the field for gravitational waves detection — ripples in time and space caused by violent and energetic celestial events, such as colliding black holes — research that helped lead to their direct detection in 2015. Georgia Tech played a direct and pivotal role in the analysis of the observed signal, and gravitational wave confirmations earned the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics.
“My general reaction is one of pleasure and humility,” Schutz shares with the College of Sciences. “It is wonderful to be recognized for work that started 35 years ago and still continues, and it is humbling to be joining an academy that has such a distinguished membership.”
“It is a great honor to have professor Schutz as adjunct faculty to the CRA,” says Laura Cadonati, School of Physics professor, CRA director, and past deputy spokesperson for the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO). “His vision and advocacy have brought LIGO and gravitational waves to Georgia Tech, and made it possible for Georgia Tech to play a role in the discovery of gravitational waves and the exploration of the mysteries of the universe with this new messenger.”