Discovery of gravitational waves won Nobel Physics Prize for three Scientists

  • 14 Oct - 20 Oct, 2017
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Mag Files

Three American physicists have been awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for their discovery of gravitational waves. Rainer Weiss, Barry Barish, and Kip Thorne were also awarded the £825,000 prize for their detection of ripples in the fabric of spacetime. The team won't split the Nobel Prize equally, however. Renier Wiess will get half of the nine million Kroner prize, with Barry and Kip sharing the other half.

First anticipated by Albert Einstein almost a century ago, the American scientists have finally vindicated his Theory of General Relativity. All three scientists played a vital role in the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, or LIGO, which made the historic observation in September 2015.

The team managed to observe a collision between two black holes 1.8 billion years ago. The trio was hotly tipped as potential winners ahead of time, so it probably wasn't a massive surprise to them. The detection of the waves, which was actually announced in 2016, ended almost a century of speculation.

This monumental discovery is incredible in its own right, but it is also managed to confirm that these waves travel at the speed of light. Their speed had previously only been theoretical, but now they have real data to prove it. This will open doors for further research in gravitational waves.