Weiss, Barish and Thorne win Nobel Physics Prize

Weiss, Barish and Thorne win Nobel Physics Prize
From Al Jazeera - October 3, 2017

US astrophysicists Rainer Weiss,Barry Barish and Kip Thorne have been awarded the Nobel Prize for physics for their pioneering role in the detection of gravitational waves.

Predicted by Albert Einstein more than 100 years ago as part of his theory of general relativity, but only detected in 2015, gravitational waves are "ripples" in the fabric of space-time caused by violent processes, such as colliding black holes or the collapse of stellar cores.

Scientists say the detection of gravitational waves will open a new window on the universe.

READ MORE: Einstein's gravitational waves detected by scientists

"This is something completely new and different, opening up unseen worlds," the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said in a statement announcing the winners of the nine million Swedish krona ($1.1 million) award.

"A wealth of discoveries awaits those who succeed in capturing the waves and interpreting their message."

Weiss won half the prize, with Barish and Thorne sharing the other half.

First-ever direct observation

The three scientists cocreated the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) at the prestigious California Institute of Technology, which has taken home 18 Nobels since the prizes were first awarded in 1901.


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