Zoheyr is a graduate student at the University of Chicago.
He works on gravitational-wave and multi-messenger astrophysics using data from LIGO/Virgo and DECam.
We asked Zoheyr a few more questions, here’s what he had to say…
What motivates / inspires you?
I’ve always interested in the big questions. What are the large-scale properties of our Universe and what “stuff” fills it? What are the most extreme events in that happen in the Universe, and how are those connected to the elements we see in our solar system and on Earth? As I see it, these astrophysical and cosmological questions are central to the question of why we humans are here on Earth.
What is your favorite space-related image, and why?
My favorite space based image is the detection image from DECam of the kilonova from GW170817:
What do you think has been the most exciting advance in physics / astronomy in the last 10 years?
This is obvious. The the discovery of gravitational-wave GW170817 from the merger of two neutron stars and its associated electromagnetic counterparts. If you had asked me a few months ago, I would have said the discovery of black holes merging in GW150914. But I think GW170817 is even more exciting because of the electromagnetic counterpart that was observed, breaking open the new field of multi-messenger astrophysics.
Any advice for aspiring scientists?
Don’t be afraid to ask established scientists for opportunities to work with them. You’d be surprised by how much science you can produce, even if you don’t know all the details yet.