Americans win Nobel Prize in physics for work on gravitational forces

Nobel 2017 season opens with medicine prize

Nobel 2017 season opens with medicine prize

"It inspires the next generation to take leadership in such discoveries".

Today's recognition in the Nobel Prize in Physics is in part an outcome of LSU's long-term vision and commitment to high-risk, high-potential gain scientific research.

Rainer Weiss, 85, from MIT, will be awarded half of the $1.1 million prize.

Stockholm - the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has chose to the Nobel Prize in Physics 2017 to three scientist for their contributions to the LIGO detectors and observation of gravitational waves, on Tuesday. Nobel Prizes are not awarded posthumously.

Weiss seconded that sentiment during a news conference, saying that the Nobel "recognizes the work of a thousand people". In the 1980s, Weiss and Thorne - along with Ronald Drever, who died this past March - proposed building a facility that could detect the gravitational waves that had been predicted by Albert Einstein in his General Theory of Relativity. However, gravitational waves are direct testimony to disruptions in spacetime itself.

Other types of gravitational detectors are being built including one in India.

Laser beams shone through the tunnels and bounced off the mirrors meet at the corner of the L, where under normal conditions their light waves cancel each other out.

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Over the years, LIGO's teams have improved the accuracy of the apparatus, and the first confirmed detection was registered soon after a major upgrade in 2015. They told the world past year 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. The next detections might come from the merger of two ultra-dense neutron stars, or a neutron star colliding with a black hole, he said.

"Although the signal was extremely weak when it reached Earth, it is already promising a revolution in astrophysics".

"These gravitational waves will be powerful ways for the human race to explore the universe - not for the next few years or decades but for the next few centuries", Thorne told The Associated Press.

Mr Drever began his scientific career at the University of Glasgow before moving to the U.S. to work on gravitational wave detection at Caltech.

"This is something completely new and different, opening up unseen worlds", the academy said.

Who has received the 2017 Nobel Prize for Physics? "They should hardly shake at all, not even when leaves fall from nearby trees", according to a Nobel background paper.

LIGO is operated by Caltech and MIT with funding from the US National Science Foundation (NSF), and supported by over 1,000 researchers around the world, including those at the Universities of Glasgow, Cardiff and Birmingham amongst others in the UK. "This discovery has been groundbreaking because it's not the end of the path; we've really opened the door to new discovery". "And all of a sudden, we discovered that the universe was much vaster than we used to think about", Mr Goobar said. "These observations have created the new field of gravitational wave astronomy".

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