Indian veteran scientist C.V. Vishveshwara who is known as a pioneer in Black holes research in India passed away late on Monday. He was 78.
On Tuesday, the announcement was made by researchers associated with LIGO. He was the first director of the Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium, he was taking astronomy to the masses.
“He was a good scientist and was taken on honorarium, essentially working for free there. He was very good at communicating science to the public and used his deep knowledge of Kannada to ensure locals were interested in astronomy,” said U.R. Rao, chairman of the governing council of the planetarium.
Prof. Vishveshwara, popularly called ‘Vishu’, was also known for his cartoons. Commenting on his style of lecturing, Prof. Bala Iyer, a long-time collaborator, said, “For me, it was a magical experience: an exotic cocktail of science, art, humour and caricature.”
Prof. Vishveshwara wrote several books, including ‘Einstein’s Enigma, or, Black Holes in My Bubble Bath’.
"On February 11, 2016, he was invited to the synchronised announcement of the first discovery of gravitational waves at IUCAA. The first picture shows a visibly emotional Vishu reacting to an observational revelation of quasi-normal modes (now more popularly dubbed the 'ring down' signal) of black holes predicted by him long back as a graduate student in 1972," said LIGO-India.
"At this event, he also witnessed the growing community of #LIGOIndia and was thrilled to see the energy and enthusiasm among the young researchers. In the second picture, he is shown with a large part of the rapidly growing group of Indian researchers of the gravitational wave.
Besides his larger than life stature as an excellent academic, he endeared himself to the entire science world with his witty comments, humorous after-dinner speeches and amazing science cartoons."
Fred Raab, associate director for operations, LIGO Laboratory, who was in the eastern metropolis for a lecture, also highlighted his contributions with regards to the 'ring down' signal, akin to a bell, ringing and fading away, when black holes merge.
"It is such a shame that very few realised how seminal his contribution was to physics. In his lifetime, he received no Padma awards, nor any major distinction from Indian government or academic community," Jani said.