NSU Graduate Involved in Science Journal Breakthrough of the Year

The prestigious scientific journal Science announced the results of their assessment of the most significant scientific results in 2017. The Journal named gravitational waves as their «Breakthrough of the Year». NSU graduate Sergei Klimenko was involved in making this discovery.

Gravitational waves were first discovered in 2015 thanks to the LIGO detector (Laser Interferometric Gravitational Wave Observatory), which was designed by American scientists. However, the main algorithm for analyzing LIGO signals was developed by Sergey Klimenko, a graduate of the NSU Physics Department who currently works at the University of Florida Institute for High Energy Physics and Astrophysics (Gainesville, Florida).

On August 17, 2017, LIGO detectors recorded a surge of gravitational waves that were generated by two neutron stars in the NGC 4993 galaxy in the Hydra constellation that is 130 million light-years from our planet.

The Science editors wrote, «If the discovery of gravitational waves in September 2015 was in its own way a note of the triumph of science, then this year's find is a real symphony for physicists and astronomers». The Journal emphasized that several dozens of the world's largest observatories have studied the consequences of neutron star collisions.

On October 3, the Nobel Committee of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded the 2017 Physics Prize to the group responsible for developing the LIGO detector. The awards went to Rainer Weiss, Berry Barish and Kip Thorne «for their decisive contribution to the LIGO project and the observation of gravitational waves».