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Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare
National Institute for Nuclear Physics

Branchesi 2017Marica Branchesi, a scientist of the VIRGO collaboration, Associate Professor at the Gran Sasso Science Institute (GSSI) and associate researcher at INFN, has been included by the journal Nature in the 2017 ranking of the 10 personalties who have made the most significant contribution in the world of science. With the role of coordination between the LIGO and VIRGO interferometers and the electromagnetic telescopes network, Branchesi is one of the protagonists of the historic result announced jointly by the two collaborations, on 16 October 2017, of the first detection of gravitational waves from the fusion of two neutron stars: Branchesi was among the scientists who presented the result during the LIGO and VIRGO conference in Washington at the National Science Foundation (NSF), at the same time as many other conferences worldwide, including that in Italy of the INFN, of the National Institute of Astrophysics (INAF) and of the Italian Space Agency (ASI), in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, University and Research (MIUR). The observation of a gravitational wave signal from the fusion of two neutron stars, which took place simultaneously with the observation of the electromagnetic counterpart of this source, marked a historic change in our way of studying the universe with the beginning of the era of multi-messenger astronomy. Marica Branchesi is also chair of the gravitational wave commission of the International Astronomical Union and member of the Gravitational Wave International Committee.