Dr Fazeel Mahmood Khan, based at the Institute of Space Technology in Islamabad, is a specialist on gravitational waves – produced when galaxies with supermassive black holes at their centre collide.  He is the lead author in a recent publication  in the Journal of Astrophysics, based on collaboration with the University of Heidelberg:

“The project called for an innovative computational approach with different numerical codes that were used on various super-computers,” declares Andreas Just from the Institute for Astronomical Computing, which is part of the Centre for Astronomy of Heidelberg University (ZAH). Every high-powered computer was responsible for calculating a certain phase of convergence of the two massive black holes and their parent galaxies.

The scientists say that the result of the study is really surprising. It only took ten million years for the two black holes to trigger strong gravitational waves after having merged – so this happened 100 times more quickly than previously assumed. Compared to previous models, the current simulation also included the relations between the orbits of the central black holes and the structure of parent galaxies. The calculations therefore permitted a robust prognosis for the merging rate of super-massive black holes in the early stage of the universe. click here.

Dr Fazeel is a graduate of the Government College University (GCU), Lahore and completed a doctorate at the University of Heidelberg. Among GCU’s other distingished alumni (and teacher) was the late Professor Abdus Salaam, Nobel Laureate and theoretical physicist.