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Just over a year ago, it was reported that for the first time, humans had detected gravitational waves passing by Earth from deepest outer space. It’s a tiny but profound phenomenon first predicted by Albert Einstein in 1916. The waves came from two black holes that collided more than a billion years ago; an impact that generated ten times more power than the light power of all the stars in the observable universe combined.
The gravitational waves it created faded to a wisp as they rippled through space and time and no instrument had ever been able to detect them. That all changed last year thanks to work led by four distinguished scientists Kip Thorne, Ronald Drever and Barry Barish, all of Caltech; and Rainer Weiss of MIT. The winners of the 2016 Smithsonian Ingenuity award for Physcial Sciences Kip Thorne, Barry Barish and Rainer Weiss share their story with 1A.
- Kip Thorne The Feynman Professor of Theoretical Physics, Emeritus California Institute of Technology
- Rainer Weiss Professor of physics emeritus at Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- Barry Barish Experimental Physicist and a Linde Professor of Physics, emeritus at California Institute of Technology
What Are Gravitational Waves?
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