Twenty-one scientists at The University of Western Australia have received Breakthrough Prize medals to recognise their part in one of the century’s most important science discoveries.
Gravitational waves were detected on September 14, 2015. The discovery confirmed a major prediction of Albert Einstein’s 1915 general theory of relativity and opened an unprecedented new window to the cosmos.
The University of Western Australia was part of an international project team which spent seven years putting together gravitational-wave detector equipment.
The scientists in the experimental team working at the Gingin research centre played a major role in stabilising the detectors which enabled the sensitivity to be raised high enough to detect the first signal.
The UWA team also received a share of more than two million dollars in prize money which was distributed among more than 1000 researchers around the world.
The Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics is awarded by the Breakthrough Prize Foundation, backed by industry leaders in Silicon Valley including Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Russian internet billionaire Yuri Milner.
UWA Professor David Blair, Director of the research group, said sharing in the Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics was a career highlight.
"All of us will look back on this discovery with great pride and to receive a medal recognising our part in this momentous breakthrough is a real honour,” he said.
David Stacey (UWA Media Manager) (+61 8) 6488 3229 / (+61 4) 32 637 716