The Breakthrough Prize awarded to the discoverers of gravitational waves
The Breakthrough Prize awarded to the discoverers of gravitational waves

The discoverers of gravitational waves, which includes nine Malayalees among the 37 Indians and 1,012 scientists worldwide, who’ll share prize of award $2 million for the Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics.

After Nobel, the Breakthrough prize, regarded as geatest prize in Physics, has a total prize money of $3 million, over twice as much as the purse awarded to Nobel Laureates.

The Prize announced earlier this week hands over $1million, which will be equally shared among the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory(LIGO) founders-- Ronald W P Drever, Kip S Thorne and Rainer Weiss.

On Wednesday, another award, Grubber Foundation’s Cosmology Prize, announced, which recognizes the 1,012 scientists for their contribution with citations, though, the LIGO founders will share the $500,000 award money.

The Malayalee scientists, who contributed to the award winning paper, are Dr C S Unnikrishnan (Faculty),Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR-Mumbai); Dr K G Arun (Faculty),Chennai Mathematical Institute (CMI); Dr Parameswaran Ajith (Faculty), International Centre for Theoretical Sciences (ICTS-TIFR, Bangalore); Dr Achamveedu Gopakumar (Faculty), Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, (TIFR-Mumbai); Haris M K (PhD Student), IISER Trivandrum; Muhammed Saleem (PhD Student), IISER Trivandrum; Nikhil Mukund Menon (PhD Student), Inter-University Centre for Astronomy & Astrophysics (IUCAA, Pune); Gogy George (Scientist), Raja Ramanna Centre for Advanced Technology (RRCAT, Indore) and Sunil S (Scientist ) Institute fo Plasma Research (IPR, Gandhinagar).

Dr Joe Jacob, associate professor, Newman College, Thodupuzha who is also a visiting associate, Inter University Centre for Asronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA), Pune, said, “This is a proud moment for all Malayalees and an inspiration for our youngsters who want to pursue a career in science”.

Jacob, who is also a member, Public outreach and Education Committee (POEC), Astronomical Society of India (ASI), said another scientist Bala Iyer from Mumbai, also has a Malayalee connection as he was born in Palakkad, though, he studied and is now with the ICTS,Bangalore.

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