Three American men have won the prestigious Physics Nobel Prize for detecting gravitational ripples. The men in question were Rainer Weiss, Kip Thorne and Barry Barish. The waves, predicted by Albert Einstein, played a pivotal role in his theory of General Relativity. The waves were discovered by the men’s team, Ligo/Virgo Observatories, who fired lasers into tunnels which were long and L-shaped, and the gravitational ripples in said tunnels disturbed the light. It actually took around 40 years to develop the technology required to conduct this experiment.

The nine million kroner (£831,000) prize was shared between the three, with Weiss taking half and Thorne and Barish sharing the other. There would have been a fourth – Scotsman Ron Drever – but he passed away back in March this year, and it is rare that Nobel Prizes are awarded posthumously. He, in Glasgow University, developed early prototypes of the machines, the ideas of which were taken to Caltech, which manages Ligo/Virgo.

Last year’s prize was won by David Thouless, Duncan Haldane and Michael Kosterlitz for their discovery of rare states of matter.

To conclude, I think that this is a phenomenal discovery and I am excited to see how this develops.