Two of the US scientists who last week won the Nobel Prize in Physics have visited Western Australia’s Gravity Discovery Centre and one of them, Kip Thorne, even has a tree named after him at the gravitational wave research facility.
The University of Western Australia is part of an international team that includes the LIGO Scientific Collaboration and the Virgo collaboration that have reported the first joint detection of gravitational waves with both the LIGO and Virgo detectors.
In a typical year, there are predicted to be around 50 novae—nuclear explosions on the surface of white dwarf stars—in our galaxy. Only a dozen or so are actually discovered each year, and some of these are so bright and powerful, they exceed the scale of scientific explanation.
An international team of scientists including 21 researchers from The University of Western Australia has detected gravitational waves for the third time in history, following their world-first discovery in September 2015 and second detection in December that year.