Saturday, February 13, 2016

Albert Einstein’s 100 year-old prediction manifests

Gravitational pull
Gravitational ripples in the fabric of space time, first predicted by Albert Einstein 100 years ago, have now been detected by scientists who believe the discovery opens new vistas into the “dark” side of the Universe.

Physicists around the world confirmed they had detected unambiguous signals of gravitational waves emanating from the collision of two massive black holes 1.3 billion light years away in deep space.

As the two black holes spiralled together in a violent collision that was over in 20 thousandths of a second, immense amounts of matter – equivalent to the mass of three suns – were instantly converted into energy.
This sent shock waves travelling through space for 1.3 billion years until they were picked up by gravitational-wave instruments on Earth on 14 September last year.
The detection of gravitational waves not only confirms Einstein’s general theory of relativity, it amounts to the first direct detection of a pair of colliding black holes, the mysterious structures in space that are so dense they exert a gravitational force from which nothing – not even light – can escape.
“We’re opening a window on the universe, the window of gravitational wave astronomy. It’s the first time the Universe has spoken to us in gravitational waves. This was a scientific moonshot and we did it. We landed on the Moon,” said David Reitze, executive director of the US’s Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (Ligo), who announced the discovery at a press conference in Washington.

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