October 3, 2017 By Jennifer Smith
Today’s announcement of the Nobel Prize in Physics, awarded to researchers Rainer Weiss of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Kip Thorne and Barry Barish of the California Institute of Technology, bears University of Wisconsin System connections.
The three researchers led an extensive international team, known as the LIGO Scientific Collaboration, that discovered ripples in space-time called gravitational waves. The existence of such waves was predicted by Einstein a century ago.
University of Wisconsin–Madison and University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee researchers played a role in this “discovery that shook the world,” as the Royal Swedish Academy called it. UW–Madison’s contributions have been on the computing side, and UW–Milwaukee’s on physics and computing.