Published: Thu, October 05, 2017
Entertaiment | By Minnie Bishop

Nobel Prize for Physics 2017 given for discovering gravitational waves

Nobel Prize for Physics 2017 given for discovering gravitational waves

Takaaki Kajita, a Japanese scientist who won the 2015 Nobel Prize in physics, has been leading a project to search for gravitational waves using the giant detector.

The waves were first predicted by Albert Einstein a hundred years ago.

Kip Thorne, who is the professor of theoretical physics at California Institute of Technology made crucial predictions of how to identify the gravitational wave and how it would look.

It's no surprise, then, that the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics to scientists at the LIGO/Virgo Collaboration for making that groundbreaking discovery possible. The trio were founders of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO), an organisation spread across 19 universities with over 1000 scientists.

The trio worked at Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO), which is a massive L-shaped building that picks up on incredibly weak or sensitive measurements from space.

Gravitational waves are faint ripples in the fabric of space and time, generated by extremely violent events.

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Indeed, gravitational waves shake the world both literally and figuratively.

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.

"We now witness the dawn of a new field - gravitational wave astronomy", Mr Nils Martensson, acting chairman of the Nobel Committee for Physics, told reporters.

As to the 25 years, multiple winners have shared the physics prize. The "ripples" in spacetime detected by LIGO were the result of a collision between two black holes some 1.3 billion years ago in a rather distant galaxy.

Ariel Goobar of the Swedish academy said that this feat can be compared to Galileo's discovering the telescope which permitted us to observe that Jupiter had moons.

"And it was much more easily solved because Milwaukee and Madison are right down the street from each other", Downes said.

LIGO team's visualization of gravitational waves caused by two rapidly orbiting black holes in a binary system.

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