Alessandra Buonanno awarded Oskar Klein Medal

Memorial Lecture on November 23, 2023

November 10, 2023

Alessandra Buonanno, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute/AEI) in Potsdam, will receive the 2023 Oskar Klein Medal by the Stockholm University and the Nobel Committee of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. Each year, a distinguished physicist is invited to deliver the Memorial Lecture and to receive the Oskar Klein medal. Buonanno will give the Memorial Lecture on “Gravitational-Wave Astronomy: Theoretical Advances and Challenges” on November 23 at the AlbaNova Center in Stockholm.

“I am delighted and honored to receive this prestigious award,” Alessandra Buonanno remarked. “The Oskar Klein Medal underscores the significance of gravitational-wave astronomy, which has ushered in a new era in our understanding of the Universe.”

Alessandra Buonanno is interested in exploring the Universe with gravitational waves, and understanding the origin and nature of black holes and neutron stars. Her research on waveform modeling has been instrumental in the detection and physical interpretation of gravitational waves from binary black holes and neutron stars with LIGO and Virgo detectors. Buonanno pioneered and greatly contributed to the successful synergistic approach of combining numerical-relativity techniques with analytical-relativity methods with the goal of developing the most accurate and efficient waveform models for gravitational-wave observations. Together with her group members at AEI and the University of Maryland, she is also working to exploit the full discovery potential of the first gravitational-wave detector in space (Laser Interferometer Space Antenna/LISA), and the next-generation detectors on the earth (the European Einstein Telescope and Cosmic Explorer in the United States).

Alessandra Buonanno studied theoretical physics in Pisa, and held faculty positions in Paris and at the University of Maryland, where she became full professor in 2010. She is a Principal Investigator of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration and the Einstein Telescope Collaboration. She is a member of the LISA Consortium Board. For her contributions to LIGO and Virgo discoveries, she was awarded several prizes, including the 2018 Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz prize – the most prestigious research prize in Germany. In 2021 she was co-awarded the Galileo Galilei Medal, the Dirac Medal and the Balzan Prize. She received the 2022 Tomalla Prize for her outstanding work on gravitational-wave physics. She is an elected member of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, of the US National Academy of Sciences, of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities, and of the Italian National Academy of Sciences. Buonanno is a Fellow of the International Society on General Relativity and Gravitation, and of the American Physical Society. She holds a research professorship at the University of Maryland, and honorary professorships at the Humboldt University in Berlin, and at the University of Potsdam.

The Oskar Klein Medal
The Oskar Klein Memorial Lecture and the accompanying Oskar Klein Medal is a Swedish prize in theoretical physics awarded jointly by Stockholm University and the Nobel Committee of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. The award is named after Oskar Benjamin Klein (1894-1977), a Swedish theoretical physicist who together with Theodor Kaluza developed the Kaluza-Klein theory, an extension of general relativity with electromagnetism. The Oskar Klein medal is awarded since 1988.
The list of former recipients of the Oskar Klein medal can be found here.

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