LIGO discovery earns breakthrough of the year award from ‘Science’ journal

    Yet another honor has rolled in for the groundbreaking LIGO team.

    Scientific journal Science has chosen the discovery of gravitational waves by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, better known as LIGO, as its 2016 Breakthrough of the Year, LSU announced today in a news release. The discovery, made in February, confirmed a major prediction in 1915 as part of Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity.

    LSU faculty and graduate students, as well as a Southern University graduate, were part of the 1,000-member LIGO team responsible for the discovery. LIGO’s Livingston Parish facility is located on LSU property.

    “When the reporters and editors gathered to discuss big news in science, we didn’t take long to pick a Breakthrough of the Year,” Science News Editor Tim Appenzeller says in a prepared statement. “2016 saw lots of fantastic achievements. But the discovery of gravitational waves towered over everything else.”

    The honor is the second in less than a week for the LIGO team.

    On Monday, LSU physics and astronomy professor Gabriela Gonzalez, who served as the spokesperson for the LIGO international collaboration, was named a top 10 scientist of the year by the scientific journal Nature.

    Read the full announcement from LSU.

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