Trio Rainer Weiss, Barry C Barish and Kip S Thorne win the 2017 Nobel prize in physics for their work on constructing Ligo and the detection of gravitational waves.
Rippling out from a supermassive collision, for example between two black holes, gravity waves could be detected through the stretching and contracting of space and time.
“The waves came from a collision between two black holes. It took 1.3 billion years for the waves to arrive at the LIGO detector in the USA. This is something completely new and different, opening up unseen worlds,” the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said in a statement on awarding the 9 million Swedish crown ($1.1 million) prize on October 3, 2017. “A wealth of discoveries awaits those who succeed in capturing the waves and interpreting their message.”
Predicted by Albert Einstein a century ago as part of his theory of general relativity but only first detected in 2015, gravitational waves are “ripples” in the fabric of space-time caused by violent processes in the Universe, such as colliding black holes or the collapse of stellar cores.
“Their discovery shook the world,” said Goran K Hansson, the head of the Swedish Royal Academy of Sciences.