LIGO pioneers win 2017 Nobel Prize in physics

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Half of the $1.1 million prize went to Weiss, the remainder shared between Barish and Thorne.

One hundred years ago, Albert Einstein predicted the existence of gravitational waves - but he assumed they would never be detectable.

"This is something completely new and different, opening up unseen worlds".

Rainer Weiss is professor of physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology while Kip Thorne and Barry Barish both work at the California Institute of Technology.

The three were key to the first observation of gravitational waves in September 2015.

A billion years ago, two black holes smashed together in a cataclysmic impact which released 50 times more energy than all the stars combined. Space time is the four dimensional array in which events and celestial bodies of the universe are observed.

Gravitational waves, or ripples in space-time, captured by space detectors can be used to discover when and how some of the universe's largest black holes were born.

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While Oscars gave a royal snub to the writers and creators of Interstellar, Nobel Prize committee know better than. The scientist saw the project through - it was in danger of being cancelled when he took over as the second director of Ligo in 1994.

Albert Einstein thought gravitational waves might exist - he just didn't have a way to prove it. Gravitational waves are ripples in the fabric of spacetime, and they carry information about their dramatic origins and about the nature of gravity that can not otherwise be obtained.

According to the Royal Academy of Sciences, the Ligo project used a pair of enormous laser interferometers to measure a change thousands of times smaller than an atomic nucleus, as the gravitational wave passed the Earth.

Other Nobel Prizes will be awarded over the next few days - chemistry on Wednesday, literature on Thursday, peace on Friday and economics on October 9. Their brilliance and ingenuity helped make an extremely ambitious project work and their Nobel Prize is immensely well-deserved.

Japan has built a similar gravitational wave detector called Kagra in Gifu Prefecture.

Incredibly, Caltech were then actually able to convert the waves detected from the black hole collision into sound waves.