Nobel victor says prize 'a win for human race'

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

2017 Nobel Prize in Physics awarded to LIGO and gravitational wave detectors

Takaaki Kajita, a Japanese scientist who won the 2015 Nobel Prize in physics, has been leading a project to search for gravitational waves using the giant detector.

Rainer Weiss of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Barry Barish and Kip Thorne of the California Institute of Technology won the 2017 prize for a combination of highly advanced theory and equipment design, Sweden's Royal Academy of Sciences announced.

The Nobel prize for physics has been awarded to three scientists who were the first to observe gravitational waves.

Three more black hole mergers have been detected since then, including one that received added confirmation from the Virgo gravitational-wave detector in Italy and was announced just last week. They told the world past year that they had spotted gravitational waves travelling through the universe, which were caused by two massive black holes circling around each other before eventually colliding.

Several hundred people are working on the LIGO project in the United States of America with additional support and contributions from teams in the UK, Germany, Australia and around the globe.

LIGO, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, is a collaborative project with over 1,000 researchers from more than 20 countries.

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LIGO was considered the odds-on favorite for this year's Nobel Prize in physics, but the laureates didn't get the official word until early today.

The first gravitational wave detected was in the form of an audible chirp that some call the music of the cosmos.

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"We live in an epoch where rational reasoning associated with evidence isn't universally accepted and is in fact in jeopardy". "There are a huge amount of the universe that radiate gravitational waves". These ripples are known as gravitational waves.

He, Mr Thorne and Mr Barish "ensured that four decades of effort led to gravitational waves finally being observed", the Nobel announcement said.

From left to right: Rainer Weiss, Kip Thorne, and Barry Barish.

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LIGO is operated by Caltech and MIT with funding from the US National Science Foundation (NSF), and supported by over 1,000 researchers around the world, including those at the Universities of Glasgow, Cardiff and Birmingham amongst others in the UK. Wiess' device was inspired by an invention in the late 1800s by physicist (and fellow Nobel Prize winner) Albert Michelson.

Professor Jame Hough, associate Director of the IGR, said "I'm proud to have worked with my colleagues in Ligo honoured by the committee".

In his general theory of relativity in 1916, Einstein postulated the existence of space-time ripples caused by whirling massive objects.

They were key scientists who helped spot the waves, one of the most fundamental and mysterious forces flowing through the universe.

Kip Thorne is a Feynman Professor of Theoretical Physics at California Institute of Technology.

Drever died this year; the Nobel Prize is not awarded posthumously.

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