United States physicists win Nobel Prize for discovery of gravitational waves


United States physicists win Nobel Prize for discovery of gravitational waves

Barish and Kip S. Thorne who along with their team managed to record gravitational waves in 2015 were awarded the coveted prize for "opening up unseen worlds". Although Albert Einstein never imagined it possible to measure gravitational waves, the LIGO project was able to achieve this by using a pair of big laser interferometers to measure a change as the gravitational wave passed the Earth. They were given the prize "for decisive contributions to the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational waves".

For the past 25 years, the physics prize has been shared among multiple winners.

The German-born Weiss was awarded half of the 9-million-kronor ($1.1 million) prize amount and Thorne and Barish will split the other half.

"Some of the first steps on the road to this new field of gravitational wave astronomy were taken here in Glasgow by Professor Ron Drever and Professor Jim Hough and we're proud of having built on that work to evolve into the Institute as we are today".

"When we first discovered them back in September 2015 many of us didn't believe it", said Weiss, on the phone to the Stockholm conference.

Alfred Nobel created five prizes in his 1895 will for medicine, physics, chemistry, literature and peace. But that does not curb speculation.

So it all started decades ago, but it finally came true.

Measuring gravitational waves offers a new way to observe the cosmos, helping scientists explore the nature of mysterious objects including black holes and neutron stars. These are tubes in which laser beams pass through an nearly flawless vacuum.

"Surprisingly, gravitational waves from sources that are too weak to be individually detectable can produce a strong stochastic background", Brito said. The beam line is encased in heavy concrete. Carlos Lousto of the Rochester Institute of Technology is one of them. "I hope that will happen".

But the three researchers emphasized that over a thousand people have worked at LIGO over the years. He was a part of the famous Christopher Nolan film, Interstellar. He is largely credited with turning the project round and bringing it to completion.

The first is the well-known scientist Marie Curie (who is also the only woman to be awarded a Nobel twice).

LIGO is operated by Caltech and MIT with funding from the US National Science Foundation (NSF), and supported by over 1,000 researchers around the world, including those at the Universities of Glasgow, Cardiff and Birmingham amongst others in the UK. President Trump proposed a budget cut of 11 percent to the NSF, but Congress has been more supportive of the agency.

Nobel prizes are never announced ahead of time.

And you might recognise the name Kip Thorne. One detector is in Louisiana and a second in Washington state.

Albert Einstein, Niels Bohr and Max Planck are among some of the most popular Physics Laureates.

They were key scientists who helped spot the waves, one of the most fundamental and mysterious forces flowing through the universe. They performed groundbreaking experiments with graphene, a lattice of carbon a single atom thick.

■ 2013: Peter Higgs (Britain) and Francois Englert (Belgium) for their work on the so-called Higgs boson, a subatomic particle that gives mass to other particles. The Nobel Prize was awarded for the fundamental discovery of neutrino oscillations and properties.



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