Kip Thorne, co-writer of Nolan's Interstellar, awarded Nobel Prize for Physics

LIVE Sweden's Nobel Prize in Physics 2017

Two projects born a century ago in the mind of Albert Einstein, and the scientific leaders behind them, won the 2017 Nobel Prize in physics for detecting gravitational waves.

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

The Nobel Physics Prize 2017 has been awarded to three scientists, including two from Caltech in Southern California, for their discoveries in gravitational waves. According to his theory, as gargantuan bodies such as black holes accelerate because of gravity, they will emit vast amounts of energy and generate gravitational waves that propagate through the universe, sometimes passing through Earth.

Two huge L-shaped detectors in the USA that together comprise Ligo measured the infinitesimally small echo of the black holes crashing together and merging 1.3 billion light years away.

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"It took them over forty years, and the result was the most sensitive measuring device ever made".

Even though the cataclysmic events which cause gravitational waves are incredibly powerful, the signals are nearly imperceptible by the time they reach earth, requiring extremely sensitive instruments to detect them.

Nobel prize in physics was established by the will of Swedish scientist Alfred Nobel and awarded since 1901. Specifically, the observatories look for the gravitational waves stemming from violent mergers of super dense faraway objects, such as black holes or leftover stellar remnants known as neutron stars.

University has paid tribute to the work of one of its former scientists after three of his colleagues were awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics. The other half will be split by Barish and Thorne, both working at the California Institute of Technology. It's not every day that we manage to open a new window into the universe, but this is exactly what their research has done.

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Prof Thorne made crucial predictions about how to recognise a gravitational wave signal. That worries me a lot, said Rainer Weiss, an emeritus professor of physics at MIT, and part of the team honored on Tuesday. However, since over a thousand scientists, researchers and technicians worked at the LIGO Scientific Collaboration, it wasn't exactly clear which people will receive the prize. In his theory of relativity, Einstein said gravitational waves spread at the speed of light, filling the universe.

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.

From left to right: Rainer Weiss, Kip Thorne, and Barry Barish. For the past 25 years, the prize has been shared among multiple winners.

"(They are) people who have been thinking about this, sometimes failing and slowly getting the technology together to do this - it's exciting that they're finally doing this", Weiss said, speaking at the conference by phone.

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Previous year the Nobel prize in physics became a British scientists David Taules, Duncan, GILDAN and Michael Costells.


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