Samaya Nissanke

University of Amsterdam

2020 New Horizons in Physics Prize

For the development of novel techniques to extract fundamental physics from astronomical data.


I am delighted and honored to be a recipient of the New Horizons Prize in Physics and to be sharing it in the company of such wonderful colleagues. It is an immense privilege to have the job that I do and to think about the Universe, black holes, neutron stars and extreme gravity every day at work. I am indebted to the incredible LIGO and Virgo detectors and plethora of telescopes, and everyone involved on these projects, that are revolutionizing our view of the Universe by routinely observing cosmic mergers. The path to get to this point in my scientific career has not always been easy both professionally and personally and would not have been possible without the support and scientific inspiration of my mentors, school teachers, brilliant students and colleagues working in multi-messenger astronomy and cosmology. Finally, I am eternally grateful to my parents and husband for surrounding me with love and sacrificing so much for me, to my brother and friends for their infinite belief in me, and above all, to my little son Milo who has transformed my own immediate Universe to one full of love, wonder and hope. A big thank you!

Samaya Nissanke