On 14th Sep, 2015 the LIGO detectors in United States saw space vibrate with gravitational waves, for the very first time.
So far the LIGO twin detectors in Louisiana and Washington - and a new one in Italy - have spotted four gravitational waves in about two years since going online in September 2015.
The team said in June that it again detected gravitational waves from two colliding black holes on December 26, 2015. When he took over as the second director of Ligo in 1994, the project was at risk of being cancelled. The ability to measure gravitational waves is leading to a revolution in astrophysics, according to the Nobel Committee.
Announcing the winners in Stockholm on Tuesday, the Nobel committee described Ligo as the "most sensitive instrument ever devised by man". They, along with Drever, founded in 1984 the project that became the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO).
Botner, co-announcing the award by the Swedish Academy of Sciences, explained that the waves originated 1.3 billion years ago, from the collision between two distant black holes. Theorist Kip Thorne and physicist Barry Barish, both of the California Institute of Technology, split the other half. "It's very rare that we open a completely new window on the universe". Several more gravitational waves have been detected since then.
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The announcement said Einstein was convinced that gravitational waves could never be measured.
Black holes emit no light and therefore can only be observed through the gravitational waves. The first detection of the waves created a scientific sensation when it was announced early past year and the teams involved in the discovery had been widely seen as favourites for Tuesday's prize.
Einstein's general theory of relativity predicts that the presence of mass causes a curvature in spacetime.
It was in collaboration with Barish, the scientist and leader of the LIGO project who saw it to completion, that their decades of research finally led to irrefutable proof. Wiess' device was inspired by an invention in the late 1800s by physicist (and fellow Nobel Prize winner) Albert Michelson.
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