This year’s Nobel Prize for Physics has been awarded to three scientists who confirmed the theory of Albert Einstein. The scientists managed to detect the presence of gravitational waves in space, which are precisely the ripples in the fabric of the universe that Einstein predicted more than a century ago.
This discovery confirms Einstein’s theory of relativity
This Tuesday, the Nobel Prize for Physics was received by three American scientists: Kip Thorne and Barry Barish from the California Institute of Technology, and Rainer Weiss from MIT. They applied advanced theory and used it in combination with their sophisticated equipment, and managed to find proof of the existence of gravitational waves in the universe.
The first time when they spotted the presence of these gravitational waves was in September 2015. When the news was made public, nobody could contain their enthusiasm. The discovery doesn’t only have a scientific value, but it also means we now have more possibilities of exploring the universe. Therefore, this award was not only for the scientists in question, but also for Einstein and the entire scientific world.
What are gravitational waves?
Gravitational waves are, actually, small ripples in space and time, and are produced by violent events occurring in the universe. These waves were the result of a collision between two black holes, which took place about 1.3 billion light-years away. As the scientists worked on the equipment needed to detect these gravitational waves, they developed a highly sophisticated technology which might offer us a previously unknown perspective on the universe.
These gravitational waves were part of Einstein’s theory of relativity. He claimed extremely heavy objects in the universe disturb the fabric of space and time, and produce small ripples in it. The scientists have started working on the technology necessary to observe these waves back in the 1970s, but only recently did they manage to create a device stable enough to study them.
Image Source: NASA