MIT professor wins Nobel Prize in Physics

Rainer Weiss of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge.   

  Ken Richardson

Three scientists awarded with The Nobel Physics Prize for their discoveries regarding gravitational waves. 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.

One hundred years ago, Albert Einstein predicted the existence of gravitational waves - but he assumed they would never be detectable.

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

LIGO or the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory captured universe's gravitational waves on September 14 in 2015.

And now, as well as using visible light, infrared and radio waves to observe the universe, astrologists could start trying to detect gravitational waves, too.

Einstein proposed that massive events that happen in the cosmos (such as two black holes colliding with each other) could cause ripples in space and time.




The LIGO project consists of more than 1000 researchers from at least 20 countries.

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The team said in June that it again detected gravitational waves from two colliding black holes on December 26, 2015. The phenomenon detected was the collision of two black holes. In his theory of relativity, Einstein said gravitational waves spread at the speed of light, filling the universe.

The team of worldwide scientists totaled close to 1,000, with UW-Madison contributing the HTCondor High-Throughput software and UW-Milwaukee contributing a system that calibrated data from two detectors set up at opposite ends of the country to "capture" the tiniest waves imaginable from outer space.

What has one of this year's Nobel Prize winning physicist to do with making a Hollywood film a blockbuster? He is a theoretical physicist who made crucial predictions about what the detection of a gravitational wave would "look" like. The first trace at Hanford, Washington state, matched nearly exactly the second at Livingston, Louisiana, 3000 kilometres away. "But if I told him about the discovery of black holes, he would have been absolutely flabbergasted".

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