Tags: einstein | theory of relativity | gravitational | waves

Einstein's Theory of Relativity Confirmed by Cosmic Chirp

Image: Einstein's Theory of Relativity Confirmed by Cosmic Chirp
A detail from Albert Einstein's (inset credit: Arthur Sasse/AFP/Getty Images) General Theory of Relativity which is on display in its entirety for the first time, at the Israeli Academy of Sciences and Humanities on March 9, 2010 in Jerusalem, Israel. (David Silverman/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 11 Feb 2016 01:49 PM

A key piece of Albert Einstein's Theory of Relativity, the proposed existence of gravitational waves, has been directly observed and confirmed by scientists.

"We are all over the moon and back," Gabriela González of Louisiana State University, a spokeswoman for the LIGO Scientific Collaboration, told The New York Times

"Einstein would be very happy, I think."

On Thursday, a team of more than 1,000 researchers in 15 countries published their findings in the journal Physical Review Letters.

To make their finding, the scientists used an elaborate, miles-long antennae device at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO), the two halves of which are located in Louisiana and Washington state.

On September 14, 2015, the physicists detected the gravitational waves created when two distant and massive black holes clashed and merged into a single black hole in roughly a fifth of an Earth-second.

After merging the unified black hole had an equivalent mass of 62 suns, and the gravitational shockwaves created in the clash rippled out into the universe.

By the time those waves reached Earth, however, they only moved the LIGO mirrors four one-thousandths of the diameter of a proton.

"Not only can we explore the universe with neutrinos and cosmic rays, see it with light across a huge range of wavelengths, but we can now hear it too with gravitational waves," said Caltech physicist Chiara M. F. Mingarelli, who studies them, The Wall Street Journal reported.

"Imagine hearing the universe for the first time."

The scientists said that the wave, when listened to, sounds like a chirp — one not unlike a slide whistle.

"Those likely produced by supernovae or gamma ray bursts make tell-tale pops and crackles. The oldest — relics of the Big Bang — simply sizzle," wrote The Journal.

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A key piece of Albert Einstein's Theory of Relativity, the proposed existence of gravitational waves, has been directly observed and confirmed by scientists.
einstein, theory of relativity, gravitational, waves
291
2016-49-11
Thursday, 11 Feb 2016 01:49 PM
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