Published: Fri, October 06, 2017
Culture | By Antonia Gonzales

Nobel winners discover ripples in the Universe, thanks to Einstein Proof

Nobel winners discover ripples in the Universe, thanks to Einstein Proof

As to the 25 years, multiple winners have shared the physics prize.

The first-ever direct observation of gravitational waves was the result of an event some 1.3 billion light-years away. NPR science correspondent Joe Palca has more.

According to Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity, "gravitational waves spread at the speed of light, filling the universe".

Rather than a straight line, Einstein theorized that space is curved and that tension between large bodies, such as Earth and the sun, effectively bend space-time.

The 2015 detection of gravitational waves is often heralded as one of the most important scientific discoveries in a century.

The great scientist and genius mind Albert Einstein predicted the gravitational waves in a part of his theory of relativity nearly a century ago. The facilities were designed, built and are operated by the many dedicated staff at Caltech and MIT as well as at the LIGO stations in Hanford, Washington and Livingston, Louisiana.

It's an exciting time for gravitational wave astronomy.

Alberto Vecchio of the University of Birmingham's Institute of Gravitational Wave Astronomy said, "This is just the beginning of a new roller-coaster exploitation of the universe". He, Thorne and Barish "ensured that four decades of effort led to gravitational waves finally being observed", the Nobel announcement said. Physicists have concluded that the detected gravitational waves were produced during the final fraction of a second of the merger of two black holes to produce a single, more massive spinning black hole.

THORNE: My reaction was just one of profound satisfaction.

Congratulations Rainer Weiss, Barry Barish, and Kip Thorne on your Nobel Prize! You know, how are we either fooling ourselves or being fooled?

"It's incredible that the detectors are actually able to measure these ridiculously small changes in length space", he said. Errors are easy to make.

"These people are experts, and a big part of their expertise is the honesty and integrity they've brought to the project", says Colllins.

BARISH: Was it somehow a rogue event, meaning someone got into our data stream somewhere and planted it? "And all of a sudden, we discovered that the universe was much vaster than we used to think about", Goobar said. Scientists stressed the Nobel prize would give impetus to LIGO India project.

Gabrielle Allen, professor of astronomy at IL and senior researcher at NCSA, says, "Because of the leadership of the new laureates, today we are seeing multiple gravitational wave events with the 4-km LIGO and VIRGO interferometers". "For me, an awesome thing is that this has worked out just as I expected when we were starting out back in the '80s", he noted.

Like this: