STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – U.S. scientists Rainer Weiss, Barry Barish and Kip Thorne won the 2017 Nobel Prize for Physics for their pioneering role in the detection of gravitational waves, prize organisers said on Tuesday.
Ripples in the fabric of space-time first predicted a century ago by Albert Einstein, gravitational waves sparked a revolution in astrophysics when their first detection was announced early last year.
The teams involved in the discovery quickly emerged as favourites for Tuesday’s prize.
“This is something completely new and different, opening up unseen worlds,” the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said in a statement announcing the winners of the 9 million Swedish crown ($1.1 million) award.
“A wealth of discoveries awaits those who succeed in capturing the waves and interpreting their message.”
Triggered when super-dense black holes merge, the waves were detected using laser beams at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO).