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October 03, 2017 Tuesday 04:50:34 PM IST

Physics Nobel prize goes to discovery of gravitational waves

Science Innovations

Stockholm: Three American scientists have won the Nobel prize in physics for their contribution to detecting gravitational waves, ripples in the fabrics of spacetime which were predicted by Albert Einstein a hundred years ago.

The scientists were awarded the Nobel prize "for decisive contributions to the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational waves", the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced here on Tuesday. While Rainer Weiss has been awarded one half of the prize, Kip Thorne and Barry Barish will share the other half of the prize.

On September 14, 2015, the universe's gravitational waves were observed for the very first time. The waves came from a collision between two black holes. It took 1.3 billion years for the waves to arrive at the LIGO detector in the US. "The 2017 Nobel Laureates have, with their enthusiasm and determination, each been invaluable to the success of LIGO," the Royal Swedish Academy said in a statement. 

"Pioneers Rainer Weiss and Kip S. Thorne, together with Barry C. Barish, the scientist and leader who brought the project to completion, ensured that four decades of effort led to gravitational waves finally being observed," the statement added.


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