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Prof. Hiranya Peiris. Photo: Serena Nobili /Oskar Klein Centre

OKC Director Hiranya Peiris awarded the Eddington Medal 2021

"Prof. Hiranya Peiris wins the Eddington Medal for outstanding contributions to establishing the standard model of cosmology. Her work helped shift this field from a speculative area to a data-driven subject, creating new links between cosmology and high energy physics."

Two neutron stars almost about to merge, emitting gravitational waves and light.

Seeing neutron-star collisions with multiple glasses

Neutron stars are among the densest objects in our Universe, with “Sun-like” masses but “city-size” radii. When two of these extremely dense objects collide, they give rise to a cataclysmic event that is so powerful that it can be observed at very large distances. In August 2017, the collision of two neutron stars a trillion billion (1 followed by 21 zeros) kilometers away from Earth was detected as a gravitational wave signal and across the full electromagnetic spectrum as well. This simultaneous detection provided an unprecedented opportunity to address long-standing, fundamental, questions in (astro)physics, including the origin of some heavy elements like gold and platinum, properties of matter at densities exceeding those inside atomic nuclei and the expansion rate of our Universe.

An image of Sheng Yang


Interview with Sheng Yang

Sheng is a postdoc in the SU Astronomy Department who is hunting for electromagnetic counterparts to gravitational wave sources. He's ready to start learning to make Swedish food.