To: The Caltech Community
From: Thomas F. Rosenbaum, Sonja and William Davidow Presidential Chair and Professor of Physics
Date: October 3, 2017
Re: 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics
We are delighted and honored to congratulate Kip Thorne (BS '62) and Barry Barish of Caltech and Rai Weiss of MIT on the award this morning of the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics. The first direct observation of gravitational waves by LIGO is an extraordinary demonstration of scientific vision and persistence. Through four decades of development of exquisitely sensitive instrumentation – pushing the capacity of our imaginations – we are now able to glimpse cosmic processes that were previously undetectable. It is truly the start of a new era in astrophysics.
More than a thousand scientists and engineers worldwide have helped open this new window to the universe. LIGO's success would not be possible without the long-term partnership with MIT and the National Science Foundation.
Caltech thrives on posing fundamental questions and inventing new instruments to answer them. LIGO represents an exhilarating example of how this approach can transform science and technology. Please join me in congratulating our newest Nobel laureates.