Gravitational Waves

Photo credit: Nat Geo

Phycists at at LIGO – laser interferometer gravitational-wave observatory – have detected gravitational waves for the first time in known history. Einstein’s theory states the fabric of space-time can become curved by any massive event in the universe, such as two black holes merging or stars exploding, and these curves ripple out as gravitational waves, similar to dropping a stone in a pond. When these ripples reach Earth, they’re tiny (1 billionth of the diameter of an atom), which explains why it’s taken so long to find them. Click here for more pictures of the LIGO laboratory. Continue reading for two more videos and information.

“The discovery of this gravitational wave suggests that merging black holes are heavier and more numerous than many researchers previously believed,” said LIGO researcher Eric Thrane.