At this point, Kip Thorne and Rainer Weiss of LIGO have (deservedly) won just about every scientific prize out there, for the first observation of gravitational waves. I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t believe they’ll be getting the Physics Nobel tomorrow morning. With an open spot in the usual limitation to three (Ronald Drever passed away earlier this year), perhaps Barry Barish will also get the nod. Most appropriate would be to use the third slot to give an award to the entire LIGO collaboration, but it seems likely that the tradition of not honoring collaborations will continue. There will be a live webcast of the announcement at 5:45am EST available here.
Update: Congratulations to the winners. I think Natalie Wolchover speaks for all science journalists when she writes:
Thrilled they won, thrilled not to spend this morning speed-reading about some bizarre condensed matter phenomenon.
Update: A couple things I’ve learned from comments and other coverage of this:
- Some physicists have no sense of humor and are either unaware of or ungrateful for the excellent job Natalie Wolchover and others at Quanta magazine have been doing in writing high-quality stories about a wider range of topics in physics than anyone else (see here and here, related here).
- All evidence is that on October 16th we’ll get announcement of observation of gravitational waves with an optical counterpart, with details at this conference in Baton Rouge.
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