Megha Dave

PhD student in the “Space Interferometry” group

What is your current position at our institute?

I'm a PhD Student in the Space Interferometry group.

How and when did you choose to do physics?

I chose to learn physics in my high school. To me, it has always been thrilling to study how things function and build up from simple principles to complexities. As a child I was fascinated by the stars, the moon and the planets and that's where it all started and lived on. I felt motivated enough to do physics in B.Sc. and M.Sc. Currently I am working in the regime of space-based interferometry as a PhD student. I always love how pursuing physics helps a person in developing a problem-solving aptitude.

What is your academic education?

  • 2016-2018: M.Sc. in Physical Sciences at S.N. Bose National Centre for Basic Sciences, Kolkata (under Department of Science and Technology of India)
  • 2013-2016: B.Sc. and honours in Physics at Keshav Mahavidyalaya, University of Delhi

What were your previous academic positions?

  • Integrated PhD Fellow at S.N. Bose National Centre for Basic Sciences, Kolkata (under Department of Science and Technology of India)

Can you please describe your research?

In order to detect the gravitational waves with space-based detectors, there is a stringent precision requirement. To achieve that, it is essential to bring the noise down to that required level, thereby first characterising and estimating the noise from the major sources. Through simulations with our in-house software tool I study tilt-to-length coupling, one of the significant optical noise sources for space-based interferometers for gravitational-wave detection, such as LISA (Laser Interferometer Space Antenna).

Please let us know why you chose the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics for your research.

I feel fortunate to be a part of such a prestigious institution like the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics because it has always promoted and safeguarded a productive and friendly work atmosphere along with making tremendous progress in achieving scientific milestones. It's an ideal place to not only to learn and to gain knowledge but also provides an opportunity to build humility in one's self along with achieving competence.

What would you recommend to a young woman wanting to start a career in physics?

My message to all interested young women out there is: “Please come forward and participate, it looks scary and is actually challenging. But most experiences that thrill come with challenges and overcoming them is victorious. There is a lot more to explore and is unanswered, join the task force and pave a way to opening new windows, not only in physics but in science overall.”

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