The detection of the universe’s gravitational swings was a groundbreaking discovery in the field of physics. In recognition of this, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced the 2017 Nobel Prize for Physics “for decisive contributions to the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational sways.” One half of the science prize went to Rainer Weiss of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge; the other half will be collective by Barry Barish and Kip Thorne, both at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.
Albert Einstein had predicted the existence of gravitational flaps about 100 years ago but these swings were very first detected only in 2015. The three Nobel Laureates were leading scientists in a massive collaborative project called LIGO (the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory), which successfully detected gravitational flaps. LIGO was built to be one of the most sensitive detectors on the planet that would be able to pick up the stimulations of distant black slot collision. In September 2015, LIGO registered the space-time stimulations emitted by the collision of two black crevices. This discovery captured the world’s imagination and opened fresh avenues for the field of astronomy.
Describing the award-winning research, the Nobel Committee’s press release says, “This is something fully fresh and different, opening up unseen worlds. A wealth of discoveries awaits those who succeed in capturing the sways and interpreting their message.” The Laureates will share the $1.1 million prize and will be felicitated in a ceremony later in the year.
Congratulations to the winners!
You can view the announcement movie here.
2017 Nobel Prize in Medicine awarded to research on circadian rhythm