Three win Nobel for gravitational waves discovery

Peter Castro
October 5, 2017

The trio was awarded for their work in the field of gravitation; they discovered ripples in space-time which are observed as gravitational waves which were anticipated by Albert Einstein nearly a century ago.

Weiss won half the prize, with Barish and Thorne sharing the other half. In 1916, the renowned physicist said his theory of general relativity meant that gravitational waves could exist.

"This is something completely new and different, opening up unseen worlds".

Nobel Committee of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded the prize in physics Rainer Weiss, berry Bersu and Kpov Thorne.

The first-ever direct observation of gravitational waves was made in September 2015 at LIGO, the result of an event some 1.3 billion light years away.

Gravitational waves are really hard to detect because they're incredibly small.

Gravitational waves then distort the distances of these two beams by a tiny amount.

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While the three new Nobel laureates were the pioneers of this work, making invaluable contributions to the LIGO project, this discovery was the product of decades of work by teams of researchers, and Thorne doesn't want to take all the credit. Weiss was awarded half of the prize for developing the strategy used at LIGO to make the gravitational wave detection.

And both the university and the governor noted that Weiss is an adjunct professor at LSU as well as professor emeritus at MIT.

When the two black holes collided, the power of the radiated gravitational waves was 50 times greater than the combined power of all light radiated by all the stars in the observable universe.

Ariel Goobar of the Swedish academy said that this feat can be compared to Galileo's discovering the telescope which permitted us to observe that Jupiter had moons.

The 2017 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine has been awarded to Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael W. Young on Monday for their research into circadian rhythms. The two black holes that slammed into each other and were cited in the February announcement were estimated to be about 29 and 36 times the mass of our sun.

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