Gravity Waves, Part 2March 9, 2016 at 8:39 pm | Posted in Science, Space | 2 Comments
Tags: discovery, Einstein, revolution
A couple of years ago, I wrote a short bit about gravity waves. It’s the last prediction of Einstein’s General Relativity that hadn’t been directly experimentally verified – after 100 years. Last fall, a major 3 year upgrade was completed on the Ligo detectors in Louisiana and in Washington state. Just after they where turned back on, they detected a merger of 2 black holes that happened long ago and far away.
That event released more energy than 1 billion, trillion suns – that’s more than we have in the known universe. So the event made waves in space-time. Such an event is expected about once every 10,000 years, so it was fortuitous timing.
After rigorous verification, that discovery has been officially announced and the last prediction is experimentally verified.
The upgraded equipment can also detect other sources of gravity waves. This opens a new window on the universe. We can now explore the universe not just with light waves (electromagnetic spectrum) but with gravity waves.
Here Brian Greene reviews the discovery:
For more background, you may enjoy these:
Rumour of the discovery and more detail on gravity waves.