Maya Fishbach awarded 2023 John Charles Polanyi Prize in physics

February 21, 2024 by Chris Sasaki - A&S News

Maya Fishbach, an assistant professor and gravitational wave astrophysicist with the Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics (CITA) in the Faculty of Arts & Science, has been awarded the distinguished John Charles Polanyi Prize.

The Polanyi Prize is bestowed annually to researchers from Ontario universities in the early stages of their career. The award is administered by the Ontario Council of Universities and is named in honour of John Charles Polanyi, University Professor Emeritus in the Faculty’s Department of Chemistry and recipient of the 1986 Nobel Prize.

Fishbach studies collisions of black holes and neutron stars. Through a combination of data analysis and theoretical modeling, her research strives to explain how, where and when black holes and neutron stars form and merge. She is a member of the LIGO-Virgo-KAGRA gravitational wave collaboration and the principal investigator of the LIGO scientific collaboration group at CITA. She is combining gravitational wave and electromagnetic radiation observations to learn about everything from stars to cosmology.

“I’m incredibly grateful to receive this award in recognition of my past work and the future promise of gravitational-wave astrophysics,” says Fishbach. “I’m especially honoured to join the inspiring cohort of past Polanyi prize recipients whom I greatly admire and for the opportunity to celebrate John Polanyi and his legacy.”