Nobel Prize in Physics 2017 was awarded for discovery of gravitational waves

03 Ott 2017  AlphaGalileo
39 volte

 

 

The Nobel prize in Physics 2017 has been awarded to Rainer Weiss, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Barry C Barish and Kip S Thorne, both of the California Institute of Technology, for their work on constructing the Ligo gravitational wave detector and the amazing record of those waves.The waves, which were predicted by Albert Einstein a hundred years ago, came from a collision between two black holes, more than a thousand million years ago. According to the Nobel committee "The signal was extremely weak when it reached Earth, but is already promising a revolution in astrophysics. Gravitational waves are an entirely new way of observing the most violent events in space and testing the limits of our knowledge." The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) was designed to detect the gravitational waves predicted by Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity. The prediction of these waves (GWs), oscillations in the space–time metric that propagate at the speed of light, is one of the most profound differences between Einstein's general theory of relativity and the Newtonian theory of gravity that it replaced.

The record in February 2016 of those waves, announced by an international collaboration of physicists and astronomers, mesmerized the world. The work validated Einstein’s prediction that space-time can shake like a bowlful of jelly when massive objects swing their weight around, and it has promise a better understanding of our physics reality. The design and construction of LIGO was carried out by LIGO Laboratory’s team of scientists, engineers, and staff at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and collaborators from the over 80 scientific institutions world-wide that are members of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration. They collected data from 2002 to 2010 but no gravitational waves were detected. The Advanced LIGO Project to enhance the original LIGO detectors began in 2008 and continues to be supported by the NSF, with important contributions from the UK Science and Technology Facilities Council, the Max Planck Society of Germany, and the Australian Research Council.The improved detectors began operation in 2015. The detection of gravitational waves was reported in 2016 by the LIGO Scientific Collaboration (LSC) and the Virgo Collaboration with the international participation of scientists from several universities and research institutions.

 

https://www.nobelprize.org/

 

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