New York, Oct 4: A total of 37 Indian scientists contributed and co-authored the gravitational waves discovery paper which has been awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics. The 37 Indian scientists are from nine institutes, including Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA).

On Tuesday, October 3, one half of the Nobel Prize in Physics 2017 was awarded to Rainer Weiss, the other half jointly to Barry C. Barish and Kip S. Thorne “for decisive contributions to the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational waves”. A TOI report says that at least 12 scientists from IUCAA were co-authors of the first discovery paper.

Sanjeev Dhurandhar, a trailblazer in gravitational waves astronomy in India, said that Indians played a major role in the Nobel Prize-winning gravitational waves discovery paper. He said the Indians contributed especially in “extracting signal from noise, in detecting the gravitational waves. Scientists stressed the Nobel prize would give impetus to LIGO India project”.

The group was led by Dhurandhar at IUCAA. The group of the people initiated the foundation work on developing data analysis techniques which are done to detect the weak gravitational wave signals buried in the detector’s noise.

Dhurandhar told TOI that he himself has been working on this for past 30 years. “India’s contribution is quite a bit and we have played an important role in the discovery,” he said, adding, “It was a big challenge. Many thought it was an impossible task 30 years ago, but I took it up and it has received the well-deserved Nobel,” reported TOI.