Accessibility links

Breaking News

Weiss, Barish, Thorne Win Nobel Physics Prize

  • VOA News

The names of Rainer Weiss, Barry C. Barish, Kip S. Thorne are displayed on the screen during the announcement of the winners of the Nobel Prize in Physics 2017, in Stockholm, Sweden, Oct. 3, 2017.

Scientists Rainer Weiss, Barry Barish and Kip Thorne have won the Nobel Prize in physics for their work in detecting gravitational waves.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced the award Tuesday along with its $1.1 million prize.

Albert Einstein's General Theory of Relativity predicted the existence of gravitational waves that are created anytime a mass accelerates, but it was not until recently that the waves were actually observed.

Weiss, Barish and Thorne were key figures in the work done by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO), which measures tiny disturbances the waves make to space and time as they pass through the Earth.

LIGO made the world's first-ever detection of gravitational waves in 2015. Scientists say those waves were produced as two black holes collided and merged into a single, massive black hole.