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2017-10-06 digital edition
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October 6, 2017  RSS feed
World News

Text: T T T

Scientist who fled Nazis among Nobel Prize in Physics winners

(JTA) – Three American scientists were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics, including one who fled the Nazis with his parents and another whose grandparents were Polish immigrants.

Rainer Weiss, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Kip Thorne and Barry Barish, both of the California Institute of Technology, were awarded the prize on Tuesday, Oct. 3, for the discovery of gravitational waves, which were predicted by Albert Einstein a century ago. Gravitational waves are ripples in space and time that help scientists explore objects in space.

The Nobel winners and the late Ron Dreyer, announced last year that they had recorded gravitational waves emanating from the collision of a pair of black holes a billion light years away. Drever died this year; the Nobel Prize is not awarded posthumously.

Weiss, 85, was born in Berlin to a non-Jewish mother and a Jewish father. The family fled Berlin for Prague when Weiss was a baby because his father was Jewish and a member of the Communist Party. After the Munich agreement in 1938, the family left Prague for the U.S.Weiss earned his doctorate from MIT and in 1964 joined its faculty.

Barish, 81, was born in Omaha, NE, and grew up in Los Angeles, the son of Lee and Harold Barish, the children of Polish immigrants to the United States.


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