MIT Dropout Shares Nobel Physics Prize with First Observers of Gravitational Waves


Published Date : Oct 04, 2017

Kip Thorne, Barry Barish, and Rainer Weiss have shared a Nobel Prize in Physics in a ceremony conducted Tuesday by the Royal Academy of Sciences in Sweden. The three American scientists, one initially dropped out of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), have introduced a whole new way of observing the cosmos. The Royal Academy of Sciences has made reference to their brilliant combination of ingenious equipment design and highly advanced theory while awarding the Nobel Prize laureates.

The winners have been awarded for their pivotal contributions to the observation of gravitational waves and the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) project. LIGO’s interferometer is the laser device that has been used to directly detect the waves or ripples in the fabric of space and time for the first time ever.

Weiss Awarded Half of 9.0 Million Kronor (US$1.1 Million), Throne and Barish Split Other Half

Throne has said that gravitational waves could be a powerful means of exploring the universe. As part of an over 1,000 astronomers, it was in September 2015 that the trio first observed gravitational waves. The discovery has been no less than a sensation since then. The waves that pass through everything have been studied to bear information which astronomers could not catch otherwise. Einstein had first theorized gravitational waves a hundred years ago, but could have never thought technology could detect them.

Weiss has hoped that gravitational waves could help science study about the precise moment when the universe emerged out of nothingness. Throne has described gravitational waves as a storm that is produced in the space-time fabric when two black holes collide.