STOCKHOLM (AP) — Kip Thorne, one of three scientists sharing this year's Nobel Physics Prize for their discovery in gravitational waves, says the award is "a win for the human race as a whole."

"These gravitational waves will be powerful ways for the human race to explore the universe - not for the next few years or decades but for the next few centuries," Thorne, of the California Institute of Technology, told The Associated Press.

Thorne shared the award with Rainer Weiss of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Barry Barish, also of CalTech for their observation of faint ripples flying through the universe called gravitational waves. The waves were first predicted by Albert Einstein a century ago, but Einstein was convinced they could never be measured.

Thorne said he was a "little disappointed" that thousands other scientists who have worked on the project did not get to share the prize, adding: "Nevertheless I'm tremendously pleased to accept this" on their behalf.