2017 Nobel Prize in Physics Awarded for Discovery of Gravitational Waves

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Rainer Weiss, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Barry Barish and Kip Thorne, both of the California Institute of Technology, were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics on Tuesday for the discovery of ripples in space-time known as gravitational waves, which were predicted by Albert Einstein a century ago but had never been directly seen.

In announcing the award, the Royal Swedish Academy called it “a discovery that shook the world.” 

Dr. Weiss will receive half of the prize of 9 million Swedish Krona, or more than $1.1 million, and Dr. Thorne and Dr. Barish will split the other half.
Weiss, 85, was born in Berlin. After his family fled the Nazis, he grew up in New York City. He lives in Massachusetts and has taught at MIT. 

Thorne, 77, was born in Logan, Utah, and studied at Princeton before joining the California Institute of Technology. He lives in Pasadena.

Dr. Barry Barish, 81, received his BA and PhD in Physics at the University of California, Berkeley in 1957 and 1963. Dr. Barish was born in 1936 in Omaha, Neb. He, like Thorne, worked at Caltech. He lives in Santa Monica. 

For details about Nobel Prize in Physics this year, you can find the New York Times article here.

In 2016, Berkeley Physics’ renowned Emilio Segrè Lecture featured Dr. Weiss and drew a crowd of over 1200 people to Zellerbach Auditorium. Dr. Weiss's lecture on the discoveries of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration can be viewed here