11:42 GMT05 March 2021
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    The Selection Committee of the Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics has awarded a Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics to the scientists and engineers who contributed to the detection of gravitational waves by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO).

    The $3 million award is being shared between two groups of laureates. The three founders of LIGO—Caltech's Ronald W. P. Drever, professor of physics, emeritus, and Kip S. Thorne, the Feynman Professor of Theoretical Physics, emeritus; and MIT's Rainer Weiss, professor of physics, emeritus — will share the $1 million prize.

    In addition, 1,012 contributors will equally share $2 million, among them Moscow University professor of physics Vladimir Braginsky, who died a month ago, Gazeta.ru wrote.

    In February 2016 physicists announced the discovery of gravitational waves, ripples in the fabric of space-time that were first anticipated by Albert Einstein a century ago.

    The winners will be recognized at the 2017 Breakthrough Prize ceremony in the fall of 2016, where the annual Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics (distinct from the special prize) will also be presented, along with the Breakthrough Prizes in Life Sciences and Mathematics.

    Nominations for these prizes are open until May 31, 2016.

    The Breakthrough Prize is a set of international awards bestowed in three categories (Life, Fundamental Physics, mathematics) by the Breakthrough Prize Board in recognition of scientific advance.

    These prizes were founded by Russian businessman Yuri Milner and his wife Yulia, Google founder Sergei Brin, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and the Alibaba Group founder Jack Ma.

    LIGO's gravitational wave detectors were conceived and R&D was initiated in the 1960s.

    LIGO was built between 1994 and 2002 by Caltech and MIT in partnership with the National Science Foundation of the United States, with the aim of observing the gravitational waves predicted by Einstein's general theory of relativity.


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    fundamental physics, gravitational waves, prize, CalTech, Moscow University, Google, MIT, Alibaba Group, Vladimir Braginsky, Rainer Weiss, Ronald Drever, Kip Thorne, Albert Einstein, Yuri Milner, Sergei Brin, Mark Zuckerberg, Europe
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