Gravitational wave research wins Nobel prize

REBECCA WHITE, Evergreen reporter

Two scientists received the Nobel Prize in physics Tuesday for their discovery of gravitational waves, a project several WSU researchers contributed to.

The discovery came in 2015 when two LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory) detectors, one at the Hanford Site and the other in Livingston, Louisiana, picked up a gravitational signal.

The signal, a 1.3-billion-year-old shockwave resulting from two black holes spiraling together, confirmed Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity a century after he devised it.

WSU physicists Sukanta Bose and Nairwita Mazumder, astrophysicist Greg Mendell and graduate students Bernard Hall and Ryan Magee all played a part in the discovery.

The discovery was announced last year as part of an international collaboration. According to The New York Times, only the leaders of the project — Rainer Weiss of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Kip Thorne and Barry Barish of the California Institute of Technology — received the award.

Reporting by Rebecca White