The winners of the prestigious Nobel Prize in Physics for 2017 have been declared on 3 October, 2017.
The 2017 Nobel prize in physics has been awarded to three US scientists for the detection of gravitational waves.
The coveted award has been conferred jointly upon Rainer Weiss, Barry C. Barish and Kip S. Thorne for their “decisive contributions to the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational waves.”
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. It took 1.3 billion years for the waves to arrive at the LIGO detector in the US.
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"Their discovery shook the world," said Goran K Hansson, the head of the Swedish Royal Academy of Sciences.
Rainer Weiss, Kip Thorne and Barry Barish will share the nine million kronor (£831,000) prize.
While Rainer Weiss has been awarded one half of the prize, Kip Thorne and Barry Barish will share the other half of the prize.
"Pioneers Rainer Weiss and Kip S. Thorne, together with Barry C. Barish, the scientist and leader who brought the project to completion, ensured that four decades of effort led to gravitational waves finally being observed," the statement added.
Last year, the award was given to David J. Thouless, F. Duncan M. Haldane and J. Michael Kosterlitz "for theoretical discoveries of topological phase transitions and topological phases of matter".