Gravitational waves detected 100 years after Einstein’s prediction
For the first time, scientists have observed ripples in the fabric of spacetime called gravitational waves, arriving at the earth from a cataclysmic event in the distant universe. This confirms a major prediction of Albert Einstein’s 1915 general theory of relativity and opens an unprecedented new window onto the cosmos.
Gravitational waves carry information about their dramatic origins and about the nature of gravity that cannot otherwise be obtained. Physicists have concluded that the detected gravitational waves were produced during the final fraction of a second of the merger of two black holes to produce a single, more massive spinning black hole. This collision of two black holes had been predicted but never observed.
The gravitational waves were detected on September 14, 2015 at 5:51 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time (9:51 a.m. UTC) by both of the twin Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) detectors, located in Livingston, Louisiana, and Hanford, Washington, USA. The discovery, accepted for publication in the journal Physical Review Letters, was made by the LIGO Scientific Collaboration (which includes the GEO Collaboration and the Australian Consortium for Interferometric Gravitational Astronomy) and the Virgo Collaboration using data from the two LIGO detectors.
Additional InformationReference: Observation of gravitational waves from a binary black hole merger, the LIGO Scientific Collaboration and the Virgo Collaboration. Physical Review Letters, Feb. 11th, 2016. http://link.aps.org/doi/10.1103/PhysRevLett.116.061102
A dozen other papers are also published by LIGO-VIRGO and made available on ArXiv.
Read the full press release issued by the LIGO Scientific collaboration https://www.ligo.caltech.edu/news/ligo20160211
Read the full press release issued by the VIRGO Scientific collaboration http://public.virgo-gw.eu/gravitational-waves-detected-100-years-after-einsteins-prediction/
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