Do gravitational waves exsist?
The question was settled once and for all last week, when scientists at the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (Advanced LIGO) reported that they had detected gravitational waves emanating from the violent merger of two black holes more than one billion light-years away. Picking up the signal — a tiny flurry of contractions and expansions in space-time called a “chirp” — required extraordinary technical finesse. But it also took 100 years for scientists to determine what, exactly, Einstein’s theory predicts: not only that gravitational waves exist, but how they look after crossing the cosmos from a coalescing pair of black holes — inescapably steep sinkholes in space-time whose existence Einstein found even harder to swallow.
36 day(s) ago