Thursday, 14 December, 2017

Nobel Prize goes to physicists who observed gravitational waves

Artist's illustration of two black holes merging Artist's illustration of two black holes
Christy Curtis | 05 October, 2017, 01:57

Three scientists have won the Nobel prize after spotting huge gravitational waves flowing through the universe.

Rainer Weiss, Barry Barish and Kip Thorne were given the award for their decisive work on that project.

While Einstein had predicted these waves a century ago he was convinced that we would never be able to detect them. The trio were founders of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO), an organisation spread across 19 universities with over 1000 scientists.

The first detection occurred in September 2015, confirming one prediction of Einstein's theory of general relativity, which he published more than 100 years ago, and led to the identification of large black hole binary systems. It took 1.3 billion years for the waves to arrive at the LIGO detector in the USA.

Subscribe to Times of San Diego's free daily email newsletter! . He said the Indians contributed especially in "extracting signal from noise, in detecting the gravitational waves".

Black holes emit no light and therefore can only be observed through the gravitational waves.

While Oscars gave a royal snub to the writers and creators of Interstellar, Nobel Prize committee know better than.

LIGO used a pair of laser interferometers to measure a change thousands of times smaller than an atomic nucleus as the wave passed through the Earth. "A wealth of discoveries awaits those who succeed in capturing the waves and interpreting their message".

Kip Thorne, a theoretical professor of physics at California Institute of Technology, also has a special connection with Hollywood. Their brilliance and ingenuity helped make an extremely ambitious project work and their Nobel Prize is immensely well-deserved. This device is meant to anaylse beams, which are sent by any disturbance in the gravitational wave pattern. If it had made this award last year, Scottish physicist Ron Drever would most likely have shared the award with Thorne and Weiss, with whom he worked before his death in March of this year.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences that awards Nobel Prizes said the detection of the waves promises a revolution in astrophysics.

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