Karan Jani
Doctoral Researcher
  • Ph.D, M.S., Physics
    • Georgia Institute of Technology (Aug 2012 to May 2017)
    • Thesis: "Journey of Binary Black Holes: From Supercomputers to LIGO to Universe"  
  • B.S., Astronomy-Astrophysics
    • Pennsylvania State University (Aug 2007 to May 2011)   
    • Project: "Orbital Configuration of LISA-like Gravitational Wave Detectors"
  • B.S., Physics
    • Pennsylvania State University (Aug 2007 to May 2011) 
  • B.Ss., Physics (First Year)
    • Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, India (Aug 2006 to May 2007) 
Research Interests


Karan Jani is a doctoral researcher at the Center for Relativistic physics and a scientist in the gravitational-wave experiment LIGO. His primary research focus is to understand the black holes in our universe and test Albert Einstein's General Theory of Relativity.

Listed by the Forbes as 2017's 30 Under 30 "Leading Young-Change Makers & Innovators", Jani was part of a team of researchers who helped discover the existence of gravitational waves. Because of this contributions, Karan was named a recipient of the 2016 Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics awarded by Stephen Hawking.

Karan was asked to meet with the Hon. Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, to discuss the findings and the greater role of expanding his research in India. 

As a Sam Nunn Fellow in National Security, Karan worked on the interface of space diplomacy and big data sciences with the intelligence community. He also currently serves as the Vice-President of the Graduate Student Government Association at Georgia Tech. Karan also actively engages with K-12 schools and universities in India to enhance science and innovation policy. 

Karan has previously held research positions at the LIGO Livingston Observatory (Operated by MIT-Caltech), Albert Einstein Institute (Germany), Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics (Canada) and Institute for Gravitation and Cosmos (Penn State).

Karan is an invited columnist for the Huffington Post, The Wire, Swarajya and has featured on CNN, Forbes, Times Now and other major news outlets.

Learn more about his press coverage & popular science articles at KaranJani.com 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AstroKPJ/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AstroKPJ

Honors and Awards:
  • Forbes 30 Under 30 
  • Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics (co-recipient as part of LIGO Scientific Collaboration), December 2016
  • Distinguished Student Award by American Physical Society and Forum of International Physics, December 2015
  • Sam Nunn International School of Affairs fellow on National Security, May 2015
  • Student Visitation Award American Physical Society and the Indo-US Science and Technology Forum
  • Vanderbilt University Prize for Undergraduate Research in Physics and Astronomy
  1. "Georgia Tech Catalog of Gravitational Waveforms" - K. Jani et al., Classical & Quantum Gravity, Special Issue Article, September, 2016

  2. "Impact of International Cooperation for Sustaining Space-Science Programs" - K. Jani, Submitted to Space Policy Journal, October 2016 

  3. "The Promise and Prejudice of Big Data in Intelligence Community" -  K. Jani, To be Submitted to DRDO Journal, October, 2016

  4. “Connecting Numerical Relativity and Data Analysis of Gravitational Wave Detectors” - D. Shoemaker, K. Jani, L. London, L. Pekowsky, Proceedings of 2014 Sant Cugat Forum on Astrophysics. Astrophysics and Space Science Proceedings, March 2015

  5. “Positing LISA-like Gravitational Wave Detectors” - K. Jani, L. S. Finn, M. Benacquista, To be Submitted to Astrophysical Journal, June 2013

K. Jani as part of LIGO Scientific Collaboration (selected publications):

  1. "Directly comparing GW150914 with numerical solutions of Einstein’s equations for binary black hole coalescence" - Phys Rev D, June 3, 2016 - Major Contribution

  2. "Observing gravitational-wave transient GW150914 with minimal assumptions - Phys Rev D, February 11, 2016 - Major Contribution

  3. "GW151226: Observation of Gravitational Waves from a 22-Solar-Mass Binary Black Hole Coalescence" June 15, 2016

  4. "Binary Black Hole Mergers in the first Advanced LIGO Observing Run" - June 15, 2016

  5. "Observation of Gravitational Waves from a Binary Black Hole Merger" -  (K. Jani as part of LIGO Scientific Collaboration), February 11, 2016

Memberships and Committees:
  • Member, LIGO Scientific Collaboration
  • Member, Indian Initiative for Gravitational-Wave Observatory (IndIGO)
  • Co-chair, Technology Fee Committee, Georgia Tech
  • Elections Director, Student Government Association, Georgia Tech
  1. "Intermediate-Mass Binary Black Hole Search in First Science Run of Advance LIGO" - LIGO-Virgo Conference, Pasadena (March, 2016)

  2. “Fate of Einstein’s Legacy and Black-Hole Collisions” - Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar, India (January, 2016)

  3. “Criterion for Space-Science Policy of Developing Nations” - Sam Nunn Security Program, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA (December, 2015)

  4. “Searching for Black-Hole Collisions in the Universe” - Three Minute Thesis Competition (Finalist), Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA (December, 2015)

  5. “Our Home in the Universe” - Public Astronomy Night at Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA (October, 2015)

  6. “Burst Search for Intermediate-Mass Binary Black Holes in Engineering Run-7” - LIGO-Virgo Conference, Budapest (September, 2015)

  7. “How Big is our Universe” - Public Astronomy Night at Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA (September, 2014)

  8. “Precessing Binary Black-Holes and Their Spin Formulas” - April American Physical Society Meeting, Savannah, GA (April, 2014)

  9. “Final Product of A Binary Black-Hole System” - Center for Theoretical Physics at Jamia Milia Islamia, New Delhi, India  (January, 2014)

  10. “How Binary Black-Hole System Lose Hair” - Young Researchers Conclave, Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar, India (December, 2013)

  11. “Final Spin of A Binary Black-Hole System” - Gravitational Wave Physics & Astronomy Workshop at Inter-University Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics Pune, India (December, 2013)

  12. “Some Ideas on Quantum Gravity Phenomenology” - Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, Waterloo, Canada (July, 2010)

  13. “Testing the No-Hair Theorem of General Relativity” - Cardiff University, UK (July, 2009)

  14. “Effect of Initial Orientation on The Sensitivity Pattern of LISA”  - Cardiff University, UK (July, 2009)