Gravitational waves, dark matter eyed for Nobel Physics Prize

October 4, 2016 by Gaël Branchereau
Kip Thorne (R), and Rainer Weiss, the scientists behind the groundbreaking discoveries of gravitational waves and the existence of dark matter are seen as potential favourites for this year's Nobel Physics Prize

Scientists behind the groundbreaking discoveries of gravitational waves and the existence of dark matter are seen as potential favourites for Tuesday's announcement of the Nobel Physics Prize.

Gravitational waves are 'ripples' in the fabric of space-time caused by violent processes in the Universe, such as colliding black holes or the collapse of stellar cores.

Physicists Ronald Drever of Britain and Kip Thorne and Rainer Weiss of the US first observed them in September 2015, and announced their discovery in February 2016. And since then, they have clinched all the major astrophysics prizes to be had.

Their discovery opens a new door into the mysteries of the Universe, and confirms one of Albert Einstein's predictions in his 1915 theory of general relativity. Albert Einstein was awarded the Nobel Physics Prize in 1921.

Drever, Thorne and Weiss co-created the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) at the prestigious California Institute of Technology, which has taken home 17 Nobels since the prizes were first awarded in 1901.

Among other research seen as worthy of the physics prize this year is the 1975 discovery of galaxy rotation rates, which led to the theory of . Americans Vera Rubin and Kent Ford could be honoured for their work in this field.

Nobel Prize 2016

Last year, the prize went to Japan's Takaaki Kajita and Canada's Arthur McDonald for determining that neutrinos have mass, a key piece of the puzzle in understanding the cosmos.

Avalanche of peace prize nominations

The physics prize is the second of the Nobels to be awarded, after the medicine prize was on Monday awarded to Yoshinori Ohsumi of Japan. He was honoured for his pioneering work on autophagy—a process whereby cells "eat themselves"—which when disrupted can cause Parkinson's and diabetes.

On Wednesday, the chemistry prize will be announced, to be followed by the peace prize on Friday, the economics prize on October 10 and the literature prize on October 13.

The peace prize jury has sifted through an avalanche of nominations this year—a record 376, almost a hundred more than the previous record in 2014.

People crowd in front of a statue of Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm

Among those often cited as likely winners are the architects of two historic accords: the recent peace deal between the Colombian government and the leftist FARC rebels; and the Iranian nuclear deal.

But in a shock upset, Colombians on Sunday voted against the peace deal by a razor-thin majority in a referendum, all but annihilating the chance of taking home the Nobel, prize experts predicted.

Meanwhile, Stockholm's literary circles are abuzz with a plethora of names of possible laureates for the literature prize, some more likely than others.

The Swedish Academy, which awards that prize, could tap superstar novelists such as Philip Roth of the US or Haruki Murakami of Japan, or some lesser known writers such as Norwegian playwright Jon Fosse or Syrian poet Adonis.

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34 comments

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BartV
2.1 / 5 (15) Oct 04, 2016
I didn't know that dark matter was found. Or even existed. Or that we knew anything about it.

And yet a Nobel Prize might be awarded to the scientists who discovered it ?

optical
Oct 04, 2016
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
antigoracle
1.9 / 5 (9) Oct 04, 2016
Is this the Nobel prize for physics or fiction?
JimD
1 / 5 (3) Oct 04, 2016
Not the first time that the Nobel Prize has been awarded for speculative science.
optical
Oct 04, 2016
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Hyperfuzzy
1 / 5 (2) Oct 04, 2016
Well, if the Nobel committee has a private agenda, not sensible theory, but who's paying me! Money corrupts everything, the environment, the ocean, social freedoms, the air, now the mind of the sheep! Who decided on currency? Oh forgot, started with trade with Egypt, had to find a way to cheat in trade! Shame!
Porgie
1.6 / 5 (7) Oct 04, 2016
There is no dark matter. There are interdimensional anomalies that cause gravitational flux in our dimension. That's all. this is a shame these guys are duped into thinking there is some invisible mass creating this. How deluded and medieval. This is 1500 style logic. It must be magic if we cannot explain it.
Porgie
1.6 / 5 (7) Oct 04, 2016
There is no dark matter. There are interdimensional anomalies that cause gravitational flux in our dimension. That's all. this is a shame these guys are duped into thinking there is some invisible mass creating this. How deluded and medieval. This is 1500 style logic. It must be magic if we cannot explain it.
optical
Oct 04, 2016
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
acaldergall
1 / 5 (1) Oct 05, 2016
I didn't know a fact so shocking I have read in a similar article. Only two women are Nobel Awards, so that if Rubin gets it, it will be a momentous fact. I consider the achievement of to be a Nobel Prize as the maximum award that a human being could perform. It is pure hard work and genius.
antialias_physorg
3.9 / 5 (7) Oct 05, 2016
There is no dark matter. There are interdimensional anomalies that cause gravitational flux in our dimension. That's all.

It's astonishing how people with no knowledge of anything can make such definite pronouncements. Which bible verse did you read that particular 'theory' in?
optical
Oct 05, 2016
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optical
Oct 05, 2016
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
optical
Oct 05, 2016
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
optical
Oct 05, 2016
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Hyperfuzzy
1 / 5 (1) Oct 05, 2016
Well, if the Nobel committee has a private agenda, not sensible theory, but who's paying me! Money corrupts everything, the environment, the ocean, social freedoms, the air, now the mind of the sheep! Who decided on currency? Oh forgot, started with trade with Egypt, had to find a way to cheat in trade! Shame!

However, good work. Note: at the top of phase transition and pressure, possible states of plasma, think you missed a state.
Benni
1 / 5 (4) Oct 08, 2016
There is no dark matter. There are interdimensional anomalies that cause gravitational flux in our dimension. That's all.

It's astonishing how people with no knowledge of anything can make such definite pronouncements. Which bible verse did you read that particular 'theory' in?
.......when you have proven YOU exist, then we will have solved at least part of the missing dark matter enigma, just don't post any pictures of the 80-95% of you that is missing.

Hyperfuzzy
not rated yet Oct 08, 2016
There are only diametrical spherical fields that occupy all of space, each as an object, updated relative to its center at the speed of light, never created, never destroyed; therefore, a description of space that allows existence that obey the rules! It's not mass that defines space, it's space that defines mass and space that defines gravity and all you will ever see. Why would it be anything else?
PhysicistWannbe
1.8 / 5 (5) Oct 12, 2016
If they can give the Peace Prize to Obama before he did anything, they can easily justify this. No one should be surprised!
Phys1
5 / 5 (1) Oct 12, 2016
Is this the Nobel prize for physics or fiction?

Why, ignoracle, are considering to compete ?
Phys1
5 / 5 (3) Oct 12, 2016
Not the first time that the Nobel Prize has been awarded for speculative science.

Not the first time you make unsubstantiated statements either.
jonesdave
3 / 5 (2) Oct 12, 2016
If they can give the Peace Prize to Obama before he did anything, they can easily justify this. No one should be surprised!


Well, at least we know that the inventors of Intelligent Design won't ever be winning the prize - how could any intelligent designer come up with something like Trump?
Phys1
5 / 5 (1) Oct 12, 2016
the 80-95% of you that is missing.


Of your brains, Benni.
Hyperfuzzy
not rated yet Oct 13, 2016
A Nobel was given for background radiation of the fictional big bang. Any undergrad in EE knows that every charge every where has existed for all time and its field is infinite. So background radiation is a given, BB not so much. Nobel?

This Nobel is about topology, should be in mathematics.

With a proper simulator we may see all states, just start with any element or group. Raise and lower the individual velocities while maintaining Maxwell. There's a very interesting state when the number of centers increase. Temperature, pressure, volume, and state are defined with only this one simulation. So the above tells us nothing. But it does look really complex.
Hyperfuzzy
not rated yet Oct 13, 2016
One interesting state is the co-existence of matter and antimatter.

However, we might need to rid ourselves of annihilation. The increased motion in a field where orbiters are both +&- creates a lot of wrinkles in these spherical field objects we call electrons and protons.

But don't listen to me, stay ignorant!
Seeker2
not rated yet Oct 21, 2016
It's not mass that defines space, it's space that defines mass and space that defines gravity and all you will ever see. Why would it be anything else?
Think you could be onto something here.
Seeker2
not rated yet Oct 21, 2016
Any undergrad in EE knows that every charge every where has existed for all time and its field is infinite.
Charge is created in lightening bolts.
Seeker2
not rated yet Oct 21, 2016
One interesting state is the co-existence of matter and antimatter.

However, we might need to rid ourselves of annihilation.
Good idea. One way is to have antimatter follow the laws of physics in negative time.
Seeker2
not rated yet Oct 21, 2016
every charge... its field is infinite.
It would be if it existed for all time.

Seeker2
not rated yet Oct 21, 2016
.don't post any pictures of the 80-95% of you that is missing.
Should be no problem since the 95% is non-particulate. Or maybe 90% if you include the "missing" antimatter.
Hyperfuzzy
not rated yet Oct 21, 2016
every charge... its field is infinite.
It would be if it existed for all time.



uh, where's the transmitter?

Motion updates the field, a whip of length l is always length l but the sharpness is ...
Hyperfuzzy
not rated yet Oct 21, 2016
Time and space are conceptual, with reality try to separate them, in fact identify them without these spherical fields. LOL.

Confusing what we think with reality, like Einstein, Planck, Heisenberg, making theory, defining limits, while ignoring the obvious. 100 years and we're still at it. LOL

We're almost there, looking back 100 years is embarrassing, is it not? The Nobel committee should be disbanded, and Nature magazine needs a new editor.

Corrupting Truth!
Seeker2
not rated yet Oct 21, 2016
every charge... its field is infinite.
It would be if it existed for all time.



uh, where's the transmitter?
Spacetime.
Seeker2
not rated yet Oct 21, 2016
...looking back 100 years is embarrassing, is it not?
Not if it works.

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