Scientists Win Nobel Physics Prize for Discovery of Gravitational Waves

Scientists Win Nobel Physics Prize for Discovery of Gravitational Waves

Scientists Win Nobel Physics Prize for Discovery of Gravitational Waves

The prize comes with nine million Swedish kronor (around USD1.1 million or 940,000 euros). Other experts share that excitement and said LIGO and VIRGO offered new ways to explore the fundamental nature of the universe that have so far been impossible, even with the most sophisticated telescopes. Thorne, who is a theoretical professor of physics at California Institute of Technology, also has a special connection with Hollywood.

2, They are formed around 10 million years after two galaxies collide and their central black holes merge - about 100 times faster than previously thought.

Some of those researchers work at the LIGO detector in Hanford, Wash.

A Michelson interferometer is two vacuum-sealed tubes positioned in an L-shape, with a laser set positioned where the two arms meet.

Gravitational waves spread at the speed of light, filling the universe.

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.

The first-ever direct observation of gravitational waves was made in September 2015 at LIGO, the result of an event some 1.3 billion light-years away.

"We fully expect to learn about things we didn't know about, not just black holes".

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.

The announcement said Einstein was convinced that gravitational waves could never be measured.

The awarding of the Nobel Prize for the detection of gravitational waves represents an important endorsement of the sophisticated LIGO research initiatives led by the Nobel Laureates, and the new field of gravitational-wave astronomy. Now the observations are starting to pile up. Although Albert Einstein never imagined it possible to measure gravitational waves, the LIGO project was able to achieve this by using a pair of enormous laser interferometers to measure a change as the gravitational wave passed the Earth.

Moving forward, astronomers are working on methods for combining gravitational wave data and electromagnetic data to study cosmic sources. Today, three leaders of the massive experiment that made the discovery received the Nobel Prize in Physics.

LSU's pioneering role in this science began in 1970 with the arrival of William Hamilton, now professor emeritus, who along with Physics Professor Warren Johnson, built and operated previous-generation cryogenic bar gravitational wave detectors on campus for many years. "The detectors are amazingly sensitive", said Botner. "And all of a sudden, we discovered that the universe was much vaster than we used to think about", Goobar said. Hanford, Wash., hosts a second, almost identical instrument.

LIGO, which stands for Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, consists of two of these pieces of equipment, one located in Louisiana and another in Washington state.

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