The first confirmed detection of gravitational waves, caused by the collision of two black holes, occurred back in September of 2015. These ripples in spacetime were first predicted by Albert Einstein himself. Subsequent detections followed; the fourth, and most recent detection of gravitational waves occurred just last week. "Gravitational waves contain information about their explosive origins and the nature of gravity that cannot be obtained from other astronomical signals," said France Córdova, the director of the National Science Foundation. "These observations have created the new field of gravitational wave astronomy."
The committee chose these three men because the "2017 Nobel Laureates have, with their enthusiasm and determination, each been invaluable to the success of LIGO." Their hard work contributed to the project's success and ensured that the 40-year hunt for gravitational waves resulted in a successful detection. However, the good people over at Popular Science point out (and rightly so) that three men won the Nobel Prize in Physics for the hard work of over 1,000 people who worked on the project. They list the names of all the people who should be recognized for their contributions to the discovery of gravitational waves.