Stockholm – The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the Nobel Prize in Physics 2017 to three scientists for their contributions to the LIGO detectors and observation of gravitational waves, on Tuesday. One half of the prize will go to Rainer Weiss and the other half jointly to Barry C. Barish and Kip S. Thorne at LIGO/VIRGO COLLABORATION.
LIGO, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, is a collaborative project with over one thousand researchers. The 2017 Nobel Laureates have, with their enthusiasm and determination, each been invaluable to the success of LIGO. Pioneers Rainer Weiss and Kip S. Thorne, together with Barry C. Barish, the scientist and leader who brought the project to completion, ensured that four decades of effort led to gravitational waves finally being observed. The Trio has realized a vision that is almost fifty years old.
On 14th Sep, 2015 the LIGO detectors in US saw space vibrate with gravitational waves, for the very first time. However, the scientists didn’t make the announcement until 11 February 2016 after refining the calculations. The findings of this research has set several records; beside being the first observation of gravitational waves, the complete course of events was the indication that space contains medium-sized black holes and they can merge. The power of these gravitational waves from colliding the black holes – though for a short spam of time – was many times stronger than the collected light of all the stars in the visible universe.
The discovery is considered huge and is expected to pave new paths in astrophysics.