LIGO scientists win $3 million award for gravitational waves; All you need to know

LIGO scientists that led to the confirmation of Albert Einstein’s gravitational have won $3 million Special Breakthrough Award. The breakthrough achieved in February this year has been widely regarded as the biggest discovery of the century.

The Special Breakthrough Prize started back in 2012 and since then it has been awarded each year for special discoveries and breakthroughs in mathematics, physics, and the life sciences. Winners get a handsome price of $3 million. The award will be presented at a ceremony this year.

In addition, the prize money will be shared between all the 1012 scientists and the LIGO lab itself. $1 million will go to three conceives of LIGO – Kip Thorne, Ray Weiss and Ron Drever – while remaining $2 million will be shared by 1,012 scientists who helped discover the gravitational waves (just under Rs.1.32 lakh each).

1012 scientists were involved in the remarkable discovery which also included 37 scientists from Indian institutes. Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Indian scientists for receiving the prestigious award. “These scientists have been awarded for detection of gravitational waves, an exceptional scientific accomplishment”, the Prime Minister said.

“These scientists have been awarded for detection of gravitational waves, an exceptional scientific accomplishment”, the Prime Minister said.

Previously PM Modi had announced that India will open its own LIGO laboratory for the research purposes. “Recently the Gravitational Waves have been discovered by the scientific community of the world, which is indeed a major achievement. We should be proud of the fact that Indian scientists were also part of it. Keeping this in mind, we have taken a decision to open a LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory) in India,” said Prime Minister Modi.

Scientists have started working on the project LIGO India and currently they are finalising the sites for setting up the lab. The project is expected to become operational in next seven years.

Moreover, the Breakthrough Prize was founded by leading entrepreneurs Jack Ma and Cathy Zhang, Sergey Brin and Anne Wojcicki, Yuri and Julia Milner and Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan, and it is funded by a Milner Foundation grant. Previous winners of the award include Sir Stephen Hawkings.

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