Nobel Prize in Physics Goes to American Trio for Detecting Gravitational Waves


The Nobel prize for physics has been awarded to three scientists who were the first to observe gravitational waves.

One-half of the prize was awarded to Weiss, and the other half will be shared by Thorne and Barish.

Sweden's Royal Academy of Sciences announced on Tuesday that the winners are Rainer Weiss of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Barry Barish and Kip Thorne of the California Institute of Technology.

The Nobel winners and the late Ron Dreyer, also of Caltech, founded the worldwide collaboration of physicists and astronomers known as LIGO, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory.

All three researchers played a key role in their work on the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, or "Ligo" experiment, which made the first historic observation of gravitational waves in September 2015.

Even prior to this time, both Thorne and Weiss were firmly convinced that gravitational waves could be detected and bring about a revolution in our knowledge of the universe. "Many thought it was an impossible task 30 years ago, but I took it up and it has received the well-deserved Nobel", reported TOI.

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As per the information provided on Wikipedia, "Gravitational waves are ripples in the curvature of spacetime that are generated in certain gravitational interactions and propagate as waves outward from their source at the speed of light".

LSU said in a news release that its scientists have spent more than four decades on gravitational-wave research, one of the longest-running such programs among institutions contributing to the discovery.

LIGO's L-shaped detectors use laser light split into two beams that travel back and forth down 4-km-long arms. Ripples is the general matter that the universe is composed are caused by ultra-violent processes, such as colliding black holes or the collapse of stellar cores. The first trace at Hanford, Washington state, matched nearly exactly the second at Livingston, Louisiana, 3000 kilometres away.

The Nobel Prize will be handed out on December 10 on the anniversary of the death of Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel, who created the award in 1895.