31 October 2022

Johan Samsing receives the Lars Kann-Rasmussen Prize 2022

Joahn SamsingLouis-Hansen Foundation Assistant Professor Johan Samsing receives this year's Lars Kann-Rasmussen Prize for his important contributions to the astrophysical understanding of gravitational wave signals from the merging of two very compact objects such as black holes. The Lars Kann-Rasmussen Prize is awarded annually to a young scientist who has already made unique contributions to physics and related areas.

The standard paradigm of gravitational wave emission is based on the observation that two merging black holes will enter more and more circular orbits due to the gravitational wave emission. Johan Samsing was among the first to realize that orbits that a significant fraction of cases may have orbits that are far from circular (they are said to have eccentricity). Moreover, the observation of gravitational wave signals corresponding to such orbits carrying eccentricity may teach us much about the astrophysical origin of the merging black holes. This idea, put forward several years before the first observation of gravitational waves from two merging black holes, has become highly influential because it has the potential to use gravitational wave signals to infer far more about the astrophysical environments that previously believed. Johan Samsing, who is now leading the effort to understand gravitational wave signals from this new perspective, has established a dynamic young research group at NBIA based on a Young Investigator Grant from the Villum Foundation and, very recently, an ERC Starting Grant from the European Union. 

The precise citation for the Lars Kann-Rasmussen Prize 2022 reads as follows: Johan Samsing receives the Prize for his seminal contributions to the understanding of new mechanisms under which compact astrophysical objects can merge under the emission of distinct gravitational wave signals, thus leading to a precise determination of the astrophysical environments in which such binary gravitational mergers can occur.