Who is Rainer Weiss? Why MIT Professor was awarded half of Nobel Prize in Physics

By: | Published: October 3, 2017 5:22 PM

Rainer Weiss is one of the three people to have won the 2017 Nobel Prize in physics. He along with Barry Barish and Kip Thorne constituted the Ligo-Virgo detector collaboration, which has been awarded the Nobel Prize.

nobel prize physics, nobel price 2017, nobel prize 2017 prize, rainer weiss, rainer weiss nobel prize, rainer weiss nobel, nobel prize, nobel prize in physics, kip thorne, barry barishThe Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has awarded half of 2017’s Nobel Prize in Physics to MIT Professor Rainer Weiss. (Source: MIT)

Rainer Weiss is one of the three people to have won the 2017 Nobel Prize in physics. He along with Barry Barish and Kip Thorne constituted the Ligo-Virgo detector collaboration, which has been awarded the Nobel Prize. The prize has been given “for decisive contributions to the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational waves,” the Nobel Prize committee said in a news release. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has awarded half of 2017’s Nobel Prize in Physics to MIT Professor Weiss. Wondering why? Because he had invented the laser interferometric technique that is the basic operation of LIGO. Meanwhile, the other half went to Barish and Thorne, who come from California Institute of Technology.

Weiss was born in September 1932 in Berlin, Germany, but soon went to the US. He is now a US citizen and a physics professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He studied at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and then at Princeton Universty. Later, he went on to become a professor at MIT itself. Recently, Weiss has been a part of the LIGO observatory, a Caltech MIT joint venture, involving hundreds of researchers. They had first discovered the universe’s gravitational waves in September 2015.

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Weiss’ interests lie in ‘Experimental Atomic Physics’, ‘Atomic Clocks’, ‘Laser Physics’, ‘Experimental Gravitation’, ‘Millimeter’, and ‘Submillimeter Astronomy’, and ‘Cosmic Background Measurements’. His work on the measurements of the spectrum of the cosmic microwave background radiation and his inventions of the monolithic silicon bolometer as well as the laser interferometer gravitational wave detector has been famous in the science world. He has served as the co-founder of both the COBE Project and the LIGO Project.

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Weiss has won several awards before the Nobel prize in Physics. From NASA awards to Gruber Prize, Weiss has them in huge numbers. Just for is the achievement in gravitational waves detection he has received honours like Shaw Prize, Kavli Prize in Astrophysics, and the Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics.

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