Several scientists with connections to WSU contributed to the Nobel Prize-winning discovery of gravitational waves.
They include physics professor Sukanta Bose, postdoctoral researcher Nairwita Mazumder and graduate students Bernard Hall and Ryan Magee. Also contributing were Fred Raab and Greg Mendell, astrophysicists and adjunct faculty working at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory detector, or LIGO, at Hanford.
More than 1,000 scientists around the world were part of the research project, but the Nobel committee awarded the 2017 prize in Physics to the three project founders: Rainer Weiss of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Kip Thorne and Barry Barish, both of the California Institute of Technology.
Washington State Magazine profiled their work in its Winter 2015 issue, right about the time the project had detected its first gravitational waves but had yet to verify the phenomenon.
“These are the most radically sensitive machines in the world,” Raab said during the 2015 interviews with the magazine. “They are at our limit of knowledge and extremely complex. We are looking for a circle of space with a two and a half mile radius to go out of round about one-billionth the size of an atom.”