LIGO gravitational wave researchers to divide $3 million prize - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

LIGO gravitational wave researchers to divide $3 million prize

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Courtesy: LIGO Courtesy: LIGO

RICHLAND, WA  - The Selection Committee of the Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics announced a Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics that will go to the scientists who discovered the gravitational wave at LIGO.

They will now split a $3 million dollar prize for making the findings.

The money will be split into two groups one million dollars for the three scientists who founded LIGO, Ronald W. P. Drever, Kip S. Thorne and Rainer Weiss, and the other $2 million will be split between the 1012 contributors to the experiment.

Dialed In: LIGO Director Talks Past, Present, and Future of Gravitational Waves Discovery

In february the scientists at LIGO broke news when they discovered the existence of gravitational waves for the first time ever proving one part of Einstein's theory of relativity.

This summer, scientists plan to make the LIGO 2 to 3 times more sensitive making it possible for even more discoveries that could change the landscape of the scientific community. 

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Stephen Hawking, who won the Special Breakthrough Prize in 2013, said, "This discovery has huge significance: firstly, as evidence for general relativity and its predictions of black hole interactions, and secondly as the beginning of a new astronomy that will reveal the universe through a different medium. The LIGO team richly deserves the Special Breakthrough Prize."

Edward Witten, the chair of the Selection Committee, commented, "This amazing achievement lets us observe for the first time some of the remarkable workings of Einstein's theory. Theoretical ideas about black holes which were close to being science fiction when I was a student are now reality."

Information on the Breakthrough Prizes is available at www.breakthroughprize.org along with the names of the 1015 prize winners.

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