Three Americans win Nobel Prize in physics

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The Nobel Prize in Physics going to the LIGO architects for their contribution to detecting gravitational waves serves as a major encouragement for Indian researchers to participate in mega science projects and be leaders in them, said an official of the LIGO India project.

One half of the prize went to Weiss, born in Berlin and now a US citizen, who is a physics professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Other physicists rate the discovery of gravitational waves among the most important ever in physics.

Two huge L-shaped detectors in the United States that together comprise Ligo measured the infinitesimally small echo of the black holes crashing together and merging 1.3 billion light years away.

"The signal was extremely weak when it reached Earth, but is already promising a revolution in astrophysics", the committee added.

The waves were measured by LIGO, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, a project involving more than 1,000 researchers from 20 countries.

Indeed, who gets the Nobel Physics award is usually anybody's guess, but this year, all the rumors leaned heavily towards gravitational waves.

Rainer Weiss, Kip Throne and Barry Barish all played leading roles in an experiment that led to the historic discovery of gravitational waves - ripples in the fabric of spacetime first predicted by Albert Einstein. "The discovery of black-hole mergers and the detection of gravitational waves never would have happened without these creative scientists".

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This is something completely new and different, opening up unseen worlds, the statement said. Professor. "LIGO's history-making work has given us new insight into our universe". As much as good science is being done every year, it's hard to rival something as groundbreaking as gravitational waves.

Rainer Weiss is an Emeritus Professor of Physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Kip Thorne of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

University of Washington astrophysicist Krishna Venkateswara, a member of the collaboration, told GeekWire in an email that he was "very proud that the award went to the founders of LIGO, who have inspired the rest of us to pursue this wonderful science". This experiment is essentially a part of the astrophysical implications of Einstein's general theory of relativity. The beams are used to detect infinitesimal changes in the distance between mirrors at the ends of the arms that are caused when gravitational waves pass by the detectors.

The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) Livingston observatory is located on LSU property and is just 25 miles from the university's main campus. What Weiss, Thorne and Barish did was to build the first machine sensitive enough to be able to directly measure gravitational waves.

Gravitational waves are ripples in space and time that help scientists explore objects in space.

Who will win a Nobel physics prize is often anyone's guess; the selection process is notoriously secretive. Speaking over the phone at the award ceremony he said: "I view this more as a thing that recognises the work of about 1,000 people".