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Physicists Win Nobel for GPU-Powered Gravity Wave Detection


Thanks to an experiment powered in part by GPUs, three American physicists — Rainer Weiss, Barry Barish and Kip Thorne — have won the 2017 Nobel Prize in physics.

The award cites the contributions the three physicists made to Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, or “LIGO,” a breakthrough experiment that detected gravitational waves for the first time, a phenomenon Albert Einstein predicted more than a century ago.

The waves — ripples in the fabric of space and time — are caused by events such as colliding black holes, making the ability to detect gravity waves key to better understanding our universe.

The Big Bang

GPUs played an important role in crunching the data collected by the twin LIGO observatories in Hanford, Washington, and Livingston, Louisiana, making the detection of the first gravitational waves in 2015 possible.

Researchers had just started up the most advanced version of LIGO when the vibrations from a massive pair of colliding black holes slammed the detectors in Louisiana and Washington with a rising tone, or “chirp,” for a fifth of a second. The waves from that violent collision took about 1.3 billion years to reach the LIGO detectors.

In addition to confirming a core element of Einstein’s theory of relativity, the discovery pioneered a new form of astronomy based on the study of gravitational waves.

In announcing the award in Stockholm, a Nobel Committee representative called it “a discovery that shook the world.”

Read the entire article here, Physicists Win Nobel for GPU-Powered Gravity Wave Detection

Via the fine folks at NVIDIA.

NVIDIA Since 1993, NVIDIA (NASDAQ: NVDA) has pioneered the art and science of visual computing. The company's technologies are transforming a world of displays into a world of interactive discovery -- for everyone from gamers to scientists, and consumers to enterprise customers.

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