Nobel recognizes gravitational wave discovery

Nobel recognizes gravitational wave discovery

The Nobel Prize for physics has been awarded to three scientists who proved Einstein right by observing gravitational waves.

The Nobel laurels are going to MIT's Rainer Weiss and Caltech's Barry Barish and Kip Thorne, who are recognized as ringleaders for the $500 million LIGO project. "The National Science Foundation has supported the goal of detecting gravitational waves for four decades", said NSF Director France Córdova.

Since this discovery, Ligo has observed two more gravitational wave bursts caused by other black hole collisions. They told the world a year ago that they had spotted gravitational waves travelling through the universe, which were caused by two massive black holes circling around each other before eventually colliding. Thorne's contribution in the project was to make key predictions on what the waves will look like and how to identify them.

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However 95 percent of people in the US territory are still without power. "And I don't know what world Trump is living in". Additional heavy rain will cause more stress on dams, increasing the likelihood of river flooding and street flooding.

Even though the cataclysmic events which cause gravitational waves are incredibly powerful, the signals are nearly imperceptible by the time they reach earth, requiring extremely sensitive instruments to detect them. Although Albert Einstein never imagined it possible to measure gravitational waves, the LIGO project was able to achieve this by using a pair of very big laser interferometers to measure a change as the gravitational wave passed the Earth. A third European observatory, Virgo, has also detected one of the mergers, allowing researchers to locate the source of these waves more accurately than ever before.

The Nobel Prize in Physics has been awarded to 207 Nobel Laureates since 1901. And crucially, the events that can be understood with gravitational waves-such as black hole mergers-are those that cannot be seen through common means of detection, such as light.

With Tuesday's announcement, the total number of Physics Nobel Prize recipients has increased to 206 (the total number of Prizes is 207; John Bardeen received the award twice). The discovery revolutionized the field of astronomy, giving scientists a new way to study the mysterious, dark objects that lurk in the distant Universe.

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Weiss is an emeritus professor of physics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. LIGO India is a joint scientific collaboration between LIGO laboratories of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the U.S., and three leading Indian institutions, namely, the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA), Pune, Institute for Plasma Research (IPR), Gandhinagar, and Raja Ramanna Centre for Advanced Technology (RRCAT), Indore.

"It's much less likely we'd be able to probe the universe this way without the work of Weiss, Barish and Thorne". The LIGO Scientific Collaboration now includes more than 100 institutions and 18 countries.

"There's a very loud future for gravitational waves", he said.

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IGR scientists are part of Ligo, the organisation that led the work on gravitational waves. For the past 25 years, the prize has been shared among multiple winners.

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