Einstein's waves win Nobel for 3 Americans

"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 nine million Swedish krona ($1.1 million) award. While the first half will go to Rainer Weiss, the other half will be shared by Kip Thorne and Barry Barish.

They are Barry Barish and Kip Thorne of Caltech and Rainer Weiss of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Barish said the prize announced by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences Tuesday represented a victory for Einstein.

Three scientists have been awarded the 2017 Nobel Physics Prize for their discoveries relating to gravitational waves, helping develop a theory first aired by Albert Einstein. LIGO discovered its third gravitational wave on January 4, 2016. When this discovery was made public a few months later then it was a furor amongst the scientist community and local people. Technically, anything with mass creates these waves, but it takes cataclysms on a huge scale, such as the merging of two black holes, to generate gravitational waves strong enough for us to detect - and even then, by the time they reach Earth, the disturbances are occurring on a subatomic scale. Ripples is the general matter that the universe is composed are caused by ultra-violent processes, such as colliding black holes or the collapse of stellar cores.

Triggered when super-dense black holes merge, the waves were detected using laser beams at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO).

Two years later, we have seen the fourth example of a gravitational wave, with predictions that we could be finding them weekly by the end of 2018.

Nobel prize in physics winners: LIGO scientists win award for spotting gravitational waves flowing through the Earth

Albert Einstein theorized the world was shaped by gravitational waves, and thanks to LIGO researchers, we now have physical proof.

The laser device, called an interferometer, must be both exquisitely precise and extremely stable.

LIGO has two observatories: one obviously right here in the Tri-Cities, and the other in Livingston, Louisiana.

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.

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  • Carlos Nash