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.
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The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm announced on Tuesday that the winners of the Nobel Prize in physics are three Americans who discovered gravitational waves.
Rainer Weiss, 85, from MIT, will be awarded half of the $1.1 million prize. Kip Thorne, 77, and Barry Barish, 81, will share the other half. The three physicists conducted an experiment that led to the first-ever discovery of gravitational waves in September 2015.
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The waves, which are ripples in the fabric of spacetime first predicted by Albert Einstein, occur following the collision of two black holes.
“This is something completely new and different, opening up unseen worlds,” the academy said in a statement when announcing the winners. “A wealth of discoveries awaits those who succeed in capturing the waves and interpreting their message.”