Why gravitational wave researchers won a Nobel

Why gravitational wave researchers won a Nobel

Why gravitational wave researchers won a Nobel

The Nobel Prize in Physics going to the LIGO architects for their contribution to detecting gravitational waves serves as a major encouragement for Indian researchers to participate in mega science projects and be leaders in them, said an official of the LIGO India project.

Rainer Weiss of MIT shared the prize with Barry Barish of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and Kip Thorne of Caltech for their work on an observatory that measures gravitational waves.

This was the first time gravitational wave emitted by a merger of two black holes was observed using three detectors - a critical new capability that allows scientists to more closely locate a gravitational wave's birthplace in space. "The National Science Foundation has supported the goal of detecting gravitational waves for four decades", said NSF Director France Córdova. The detection of black hole gravitational waves has been floated as a contender both this year and last.

Dr Brian Bowsher, chief executive of the UK's Science and Technology Facilities Council, said: "The award of the Nobel today is a celebration of the genius of a vast team of people, including many UK-based scientists and engineers, and it is something everyone in the United Kingdom can share in".

Ariel Goobar of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said the winners' work meant "we can study processes which were completely impossible, out of reach to us in the past".

On Wednesday, the Nobel Prize for Chemistry will be awarded while Thursday and Friday will see the announcement for the Prizes for Literature and the Nobel Peace Prize. Kip Thorne and Barry Barish will share the other half of the prize. "And all of a sudden, we discovered that the universe was much vaster than we used to think about", Mr Goobar said. "There are a huge amount of things.in the universe that radiate gravitational waves".

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Rainer Weiss, born 1932 in Berlin, Germany. Ph.D.

Thorne earned his Ph.D. from the Princeton University in 1965, later becoming a professor of theoretical physics at the California Institute of Technology. There's information in gravitational waves that can not be found elsewhere.

Ronald Drever, a Scottish physicist, who alongside Weiss and Thorne played a leading role in developing Ligo, died in March from dementia less than 18 months after gravitational waves were first detected.

The CSU group of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration is led by University Distinguished Professor Carmen Menoni, professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. In 1916, the renowned physicist said his theory of general relativity meant that gravitational waves could exist. While Weiss, Barish and Thorne have been given one of the highest honours in the world, there were more than a thousand people involved in the research. Wiess' device was inspired by an invention in the late 1800s by physicist (and fellow Nobel Prize winner) Albert Michelson.

Previous year the Nobel prize in physics became a British scientists David Taules, Duncan, GILDAN and Michael Costells.

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