Gravitational wave discoverers win physics Nobel prize

Posted October 05, 2017

As many as 37 Indian scientists from nine institutes, including Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA) here, were co-authors of the gravitational waves discovery paper - awarded the Nobel prize in Physics on Tuesday.

Half of the $1.1 million prize went to Weiss, the remainder shared between Barish and Thorne. The gravitational waves spotted were created 1.3 billion years ago, when two massive black holes collided, and the resulting disturbances were picked up by both LIGO facilities in the USA, located in Washington and Louisiana.

The Nobel Committee has awarded this year's prize in physics to Rainer Weiss, Kip Thorne, and Barry Barish.

The breakthrough came with the construction of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO), a collaborative project with more than 1,000 researchers from more than 20 countries.

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And now, as well as using visible light, infrared and radio waves to observe the universe, astrologists could start trying to detect gravitational waves, too.

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2, They are formed around 10 million years after two galaxies collide and their central black holes merge - about 100 times faster than previously thought.

"These gravitational waves will be powerful ways for the human race to explore the universe", said Thorne, speaking by phone from California.

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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.

Weiss earned a doctoral degree in 1962 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and was a professor of physics at MIT, as well.

The three scientists won the prize on Tuesday for detecting the faint ripples flying through the universe.

Incredibly, Caltech were then actually able to convert the waves detected from the black hole collision into sound waves. However, gravitational waves are direct testimony to disruptions in spacetime itself.

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LIGO has two observatories: one obviously right here in the Tri-Cities, and the other in Livingston, Louisiana.