The winners in the astrophysics category–Kip Thorne, Ray Weiss, Ron Drever–detected gravitational waves just earlier this year, almost a 100 years after Einstein predicted their existence. Want to know what gravitational waves are? Theoretical physicist Brian Greene explains it to Stephen Colbert.
Remember Interstellar? Last year’s Hollywood blockbuster starring Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway. Thorne was an executive producer of Intersteller, and many of us first learned what a worm hole is through the movie. This LA times piece
describes the how a chain of events led to Thorne getting involved in the project.
While speaking to me at the last dinner of the Kavli Prize Week, Thorne revealed he was working on another movie. But he wouldn’t say a word more. If you want a closer look at Thorne’s involvement in the making of Interstellar, check out this Wired story.
(Unfortunately Matthew McConaughey wasn’t there at the dinner though.)
Another winner who caught my eye was the University of California, San Francisco, neuroscientist Michael Merzenich. Merzenich was one of the three winners in the neuroscience category who got the award for their groundbreaking work on plasticity. Merzenich’s ideas about brain training are controversial, and stirred up a lot of debate during the Kavli Prize Week. This Nature Piece
discusses his research in detail.
Merzenich is a science journalist’s dream source – argumentative, renegade and funny.