2017 Nobel Prize in Physics for Gravitational Wave Researchers

Gravitational waves. Einstein was right. The Nobel Prize in Physics in 2017 goes to Rainer Weiss, Barry Barish, and Kip Thorne. The three researchers get awarded for the detection of gravitational waves. Their simulation reveals gravitational waves that arise while two black holes fuse.

Whoop. It sounds like waves coming on the earth, some 1.3 billion years ago in space. When two detectors in Louisiana and Washington made "Whoop", the sensation was perfect. It is the proof of the Albert Einstein prophesy that there are gravitational waves. Some, by the way, think the signal has sounded more like "chirp". This direct proof has the potential to change astrophysics.

A Nobel Prize for it was overdue, many say. The US researchers Rainer Weiss, Barry Barish and Kip Thorne will get it. Something unjust, others complain. After all, more than 1,000 scientists have been working for 40 years to capture the weak cosmic signals. But the Nobel award goes only to three of them. Still, others find that Einstein himself deserved the Nobel Prize. But he already got one.

The three are among the pioneers who developed the machine that proved their success. Weiss was the first to draw a sensitive measuring station. For decades, he was working on how to filter background noise out of space, which is not a gravitational wave.

In the 1980s Thorne ensured that Weiss' vision became a reality. Barish saved the project in the 1990s before the premature end. This is the only reason why the waves got discovered in 2015 and the prediction got confirmed.



What had Einstein predicted?


In 1915, Einstein introduced his general theory of relativity. He drew a completely new picture of gravitation. Einstein believed that gravitational energy was the result of the mass of space and time. The deformations are small and imperceptible to humans.

The waves got heard for the first time more than two years ago. It consists of energy that radiated into space when two black holes collided and fused 1.3 billion years ago. There was a womb in space that was so powerful that the waves of vibration were still measurable. The last signal came last week.