Islamabad—The scientific community in a symposium on ‘Gravitational Waves’ resolved to initiate an Astronomical and Astrophysics Society to provide a platform to people from astrophysics and other fields of astronomy to grow and interact. The symposium was held at Institute of Space Technology (IST),the event was one of first of its kind, to be held anywhere in Pakistan after the discovery of waves. It has been a century since Einstein first predicted existence of the gravitational waves as one of the consequences of general relativity.
But their direct detection did not come about until last year, when LIGO detectors finally received the signal from merging black holes some billions of miles away. Dr Farrukh Chishtie, professor and head of Space Science Department at IST initiated the event by welcoming and thanking all the participants. The opening talk was presented by Dr Hamid Saleem, ex-DG of National Center for Physics and presently a professor at IST.
It was an introduction to light and how it bears messages from worlds farther away from own. Later, the ideas of general relativity and the significance of GWs was put in place by Dr Abid H. Mujtaba, a mathematical and computational physicist at COMSATS Islamabad. More than 180 participants from universities across Pakistan, attended the sessions. They spanned diverse fields including engineering, medicine and remote sensing. Their intense discussions followed the questions with the guest speakers. The entire story of the discovery was presented by Dr Asghar Qadir,awarded Hilal-i-Imtiaz and Sitara-i-Imtiaz by government of Pakistan.