Gravitational waves detected [2016/02/24 11:44]

In a landmark discovery for physics and astronomy, scientists said they have glimpsed the first direct evidence of gravitational waves.
If they are right, the discovery proves Albert Einstein’s theory that gravitational waves exist.

When two black holes collided some 1.3 billion years ago, the joining of those two great masses sent forth a wobble.

The waves reached Earth on Sept. 14, 2015, when it was picked up by sophisticated instruments, researchers announced.

“Up until now we have been deaf to gravitational waves, but today, we are able to hear them,” said David Reitze, an official of the LIGO Laboratory, at a recent press conference held in the United States.

Reitze and his colleagues compared the magnitude of the discovery to Galileo’s use of the telescope four centuries ago to open the era of modern astronomy.

“I think we are doing something equally important here today. I think we are opening a window on the universe,” Reitze said.

The waves were predicted as part of Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity nearly 100 years ago. His theory forms the basis of the physics through which we understand the workings of our world and the universe.

The idea was that the waves are like ripples in space, caused by violent and energetic processes in the universe, such as two black holes crashing into each other.
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