Nobel Prize in Physics was announced on Tuesday to three top professors from the United States of America, Dr Rainer Weiss, Dr Kip Thorne and Dr Barry Barish has been honoured with the £825,000 prize. The trio was awarded for their work in the field of gravitation; they discovered ripples in space-time which are observed as gravitational waves which were anticipated by Albert Einstein almost a century ago.

The three were the leading scientists who steered the process of detecting the gravitational waves with the help of LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory) experiment. They also led a group of more than thousand scientists who were a part of the research team of LIGO Scientific Collaboration who analysed the data.

The trio will share the prize between them, however, Doctor Weiss will receive half the prize money and Kip Thorne and Barry Barish will share the other half.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Science while announcing the winners stated that ”this was a discovery which shook the world”.

In February, 2016 a collaboration of several scientists and astronomers had announced that they had detected gravitational waves emerging from the collision of two massive black holes a billion light year away.

The Ligo experiment had confirmed Einstein’s 100-year-old prediction during cataclysmic events the space-time fabric can be stretched and gravitational tremors can be witnessed across the earth.

Speaking at a press conference after the announcement, Weiss, an emeritus professor of physics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said the 2015 detection was the culmination of decades of work, involving more than 1,000 scientists. “It’s as long as 40 years of people thinking about this, trying to make a detection, sometimes failing … and then slowly but surely getting the technology together to be able to do it,” he said, adding that receiving the phone call from the Nobel committee had been “really wonderful”.

First Published | 3 October 2017 9:52 PM
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