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Scots scientists celebrate Nobel Prize contribution

Glasgow University physicists helped prove a theory put forward by Einstein 100 years ago.

Glasgow University: Dr Angus Bell with a model of the Ligo detector.
Glasgow University: Dr Angus Bell with a model of the Ligo detector. PA

Scottish scientists are celebrating their contribution to the breakthrough that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in physics.

Glasgow University physicists played a key role in the detection of gravitational waves, a discovery that has changed the way we understand the universe.

Research began at the university under Dr Ronald Drever, who died earlier this year.

Dr Drever may have been recognised alongside his colleagues Rainer Weiss, Kip Thorne and Barry Barish but the Nobel Prize is not awarded posthumously.

Their work helped prove a prediction made by Albert Einstein 100 years ago - that massive objects like black holes can create ripples that warp space-time.

https://stv.tv/news/west-central/1342441-what-are-the-gravitational-waves-scots-scientists-have-helped-find/ | default

Professor Sheila Rowan, director of the Institute for Gravitational Research (IGR) at Glasgow University, said: "The first direct detection of gravitational waves two years ago were built on decades of work by thousands of scientists around the world.

"But I'm thrilled that the Nobel Committee has recognised Rai, Barry and Kip's pioneering work. Their brilliance and ingenuity helped make an extremely ambitious project work and their Nobel Prize is immensely well-deserved.

"We're in the very early, very exciting first stages of gravitational wave astronomy - a whole new way of examining the cosmos."

IGR scientists are part of Ligo, the organisation that led the work on gravitational waves.

Glasgow University physicists have been working to prove the existence of gravitational waves for nearly 50 years and helped develop sensors used by Ligo.

Professor Jame Hough, associate Director of the IGR, said "I'm proud to have worked with my colleagues in Ligo honoured by the committee."

Scottish scientists David Thouless and John Kosterlitz won the 2016 Nobel Prize in physics for their work on strange forms of matter.

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