Physics Nobel for Pioneers of Gravitational Wave Astronomy – Kip Thorne, Rainer Weiss and Barry Barish3 Oct 2017, 09:55 UTC
However, the prize has ignored the contributions of a collaboration of 1,000+ scientists around the world who helped build the detectors and analyse the data for the important discovery.
L-R: Kip Thorne (credit: LIGO Lab/Caltech), Rainer Weiss (credit: IAU, CC BY 4.0) and Barry Barish (source: YouTube)
In an announcement that surprised no one, the Nobel Prize for physics for 2017 has been awarded to Kip Thorne, Rainer Weiss and Barry Barish, three of the many scientists that developed LIGO, the instrument that detects gravitational waves from colliding blackholes.
Rainer Weiss will receive one half of the prize while Kip Thorne and Barry Barish will receive the other half.
LIGO – or the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatories – is actually a pair of detectors both located in the US. It announced its first direct detection of gravitational waves in February 2016. Because the deadline to nominate people for the Nobel Prize for physics is January 31 every year, Thorne and Weiss were thought to have been passed over for the prize last year.
“At this point, Kip Thorne and Rainer Weiss of LIGO have (deservedly) won just about every scientific prize out there, for the first observation of gravitational waves,” ...