Three Scientists Earn Nobel Prize for Gravitational Waves Discovery


Caltech has added a 36th and 37th reason to boast to their mantel. Two more Nobel Prize have been awarded to faculty and alumni for their work on computer code that's been paired with the LIGO Observatory to create visualizations of gravitational waves. 

The Nobel Prize was split by three Americans who are members of the LIGO-Virgo detector that detected gravitational waves back in 2015. Gravitational waves are distortions in gravity that are created by the collision of massive objects (such as black holes) across the universe. Thorne, Weiss, and Barish wrote code to create visualizations of gravitational waves. 

Rainer Weiss, Kip Thorne, and Barry Barish were awarded the prize "for decisive contributions to the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational waves," the committee said in a news release. 

"For the first time, for example, we see through those visualizations, the storm and fabric of space-time that is produced when two black holes collide,"  Thorne said. 

Half of the prize went to Weiss who is a physics professor at MIT, while the other half of the prize was split by Barish and Thorne, both of whom work at the California Institute of Technology. 


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