Gravitational Waves

“Gravitational waves are distortions or ‘ripples’ in the fabric of space-time, caused by some of the most violent and energetic processes in the Universe.”

IMG_0539THISIn 1916, Einstein proposed his theory of gravitational waves in his general theory of relativity.

IMG_0610_THISEinstein’s General Theory of Relativity basically states that gravity is a result of the ‘curvature’ of spacetime; and that matter and/or energy can “stretch or warp” these curvatures.

IMG_0504THISEvidence for the existence of gravitational waves first arrived in 1974 when two astronomers at the Arecibo Radio Observatory in Puerto Rico discovered two very dense & heavy stars in orbit around each other. 

IMG_0598THISAfter 8 years of observation, they found that the stars got closer to each other at the rate proposed by the general relativity theory.

IMG_0623THISThey have since observed the system for 40 years and the changes in orbit still correspond to the general relativity theory. 

IMG_0665THISA few weeks ago, a group of scientists at LIGO announced that they had heard gravitational waves resulting from the collision of two black holes.

IMG_0676THIS1On September 18, the scientists at LIGO received a signal from their detector in Louisiana & a second signal from their Washington detector a few milliseconds later.

IMG_0574THISThe scientists determined after analyzing the data with a few equations that it had been two black holes that caused the signal. 

IMG_0499ABasically, we now have visual & audible evidence for what Einstein predicted 100 years ago!





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