Greek astrophysicist awarded for role in landmark discovery

Greek astrophysicist awarded for role in landmark discovery

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) astrophysicist Erotokritos Katsavounidis has been awarded the Golden Cross of the Order of the Phoenix for his contribution to the first direct detection of gravitational waves in 2015.

The waves – ripples in space from black holes that crashed together billions of light years from Earth – were predicted by Albert Einstein more than 100 years ago.

“Gravitational waves and their detectors will revolutionize the discovery and knowledge of the universe like telescopes and discoveries of Galileo did,” Katsavounidis, a member of the scientific team behind the project, said during a ceremony in Boston.

The award, which was signed by Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos, was bestowed by Boston’s Consul General of Greece Stratos Efthymiou, who described Katsavounidis’s distinction as an inspiration for the next generation of Greek scientists and academics at home and abroad. 

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