This is Scientific American — 60-Second Science. I'm Steve Mirsky.
"The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics with one half to Rainer Weiss and the other half jointly to Barry C. Barish and Kip S. Thorne, all of them members of the LIGO/VIRGO collaboration. And the academy citation runs for decisive contributions to the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational waves."
Göran Hansson, secretary general of the academy, at 5:52 this morning Eastern time.
"Rainer Weiss was born in 1932 in Berlin in Germany. He received his PhD at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the United States, and he is still affiliated with the M.I.T. as professor of physics. Dr. Weiss is since (sic) many years a U.S. citizen. Barry Barish was born in 1936 in Nebraska in the United States. He's a professor of physics at Caltech, the California Institute of Technology. And finally, Kip Thorne was born in 1940 in Utah, in the U.S., and he's currently professor of theoretical physics at Caltech."
"And as I mentioned, all three Nobel laureates are members of the LIGO/Virgo collaboration, a large team of more than a thousand scientists who built and ran the detector that was used to discover gravitational waves. And with that, I'll give the word to the chairman of the Nobel committee, Nils Mårtensson."
"On the 14th of September, 2015, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory, LIGO, succeeded for the first time to directly observe gravitational waves. These waves were predicted by Einstein a hundred years ago, but until now they have escaped direct detection. This is a truly remarkable achievement, which crowns almost 50 years of experimental efforts by hundreds of scientists and engineers. And today the LIGO collaboration includes a thousand members from 90 institutions on five continents...we now witness the dawn of a new field: gravitational wave astronomy. This will teach us about the most violent processes in the universe and it will lead to new insights into the nature of extreme gravity."
For an in-depth listen about the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics, look for the Scientific American Science Talk podcast later today.
For Scientific American — 60-Second Science Science. I'm Steve Mirsky.