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October 03, 2017

Meet the Winners of Nobel Prize in Physics 2017

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The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has announced the winners of Nobel Prize in Physics for the year 2017. US scientists Rainer Weiss, Barry Barish and Kip Thorne won this year's award for their pioneering role in the detection of gravitational waves.

Ripples in the fabric of space-time first predicted a century ago by Albert Einstein, gravitational waves sparked a revolution in astrophysics when their first detection was announced early last year.

The 9 million Swedish crown ($1.1 million) Nobel Physics Prize was divided, one half awarded to Rainer Weiss, the other half jointly to Barry C. Barish and Kip S. Thorne “for decisive contributions to the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational waves”.

The prizes for achievements in science, literature and peace were first awarded in 1901 in accordance with the will of Swedish business tycoon Alfred Nobel, who bequeathed much of the fortune he generated from his discovery of dynamite.

Among the science prizes, physics has often taken centre stage with laureates including scientific super stars such as Einstein, Niels Bohr and Marie Curie, one of only two women to win a Nobel Prize for Physics.

Physics is the second of this year's Nobel Prizes. The Nobel Prize for Physiology / Medicine 2017 was equally awarded to three American Scientists Jeffrey Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael Young for their discoveries on the molecular mechanisms controlling circadian rhythms – in other words, the 24-hour body clock. The Nobel chemistry prize will be announced on Wednesday. The Nobel peace prize will be announced in Oslo on Friday. While the Economics prize will be announced on October 9, the winner of this year’s Nobel Prize in literature will be announced on Thursday.

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