Friday, May 6, 2016

One cannot get rich with fundamental physics, they said...

..unless you make a landmark discovery such as the first detection of gravitational waves. In such case, you might win a $3 million Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics!

The three funding fathers of LIGO, Ronald P. Drever and Kip. S. Thorne and Rainer Weiss, are going to share $1 million, and the other other $2 million will be split among 1,012 scientists who authored the milestone article in Physical Review Letters and a list of key contributors to the theoretical and experimental understanding of gravitational waves (Luc Blanchet, Thibault Damour, Lawrence Kidder, Frans Pretorius,
Mark Scheel, Saul A. Teukolsky, Rochus E. Vogt) without which LIGO outstanding discovery would not have been possible.

As Richard Feynman brilliantly put it:

This also applies to the economical reward that might following great discoveries, and it is probably the reason why reckless and economically inconvenient science is pursed: because it is passion driven rather than money driven.

Kudos to the LIGO/Virgo Collaboration!

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