In a major breakthrough, scientists have revealed the discovery of gravitational wave signals, which are essentially ripples in spacetime that were predicted by Albert Einstein decades ago. According to the Executive Director of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational – Wave Observatory, David Reitze, this discovery is the climaxes a century of scientific speculation, half a century of trial and error research, and 25 years inventing a set of highly sensitive instruments.
Leveraging the most sophisticated detector in the world, scientists have been able to pick out the collision of two black holes. The researchers listened to 20 thousands of a second as two huge black holes, one of which is 35 times bigger than the sun, and the other a little bit smaller, circled each other. When the signal was commencing, calculations helped the scientists understand how stars perish. The two objects started moving around each other in circles at 30 times a second, but by the 20-millisecond data-snatch, they had accelerated to a top speed, before finally colliding into a dark, violent merger.
This discovery of gravitational waves signals the start of a new window in the universe. According to one of the researchers, Professor Alberto Vecchio at the University of Birmingham, this is transformational. Previously, research into the universe has been based on observations made through light. But this new accomplishment will enable scientists to evaluate totally different information. In a nutshell, it’ll now be possible to discover phenomena never seen before.
Truly incredible, this discovery marks three significant milestones for universal physics: the direct detection of gravitational waves, the first-ever binary black hole discovery, and the most compelling evidence thus far that black holes are the objects that Einstein predicted in his theory. The perfected set of instruments used in this detection is so advanced and sensitive that it can detect the slightest change in the displacement of our solar system from the nearest star about four light years away to the fraction of a millimeter.
Astronomers still have to work hard to decipher months of materials collected in the interval, so this is not the endgame – just a new path that will likely lead to more astounding discoveries in the near future. Given the half of century of research frustrations in the search for gravitational waves, what they found exceeds expectation. Suddenly, as two black holes mutually collapsed, they could (as never before), listen in to the violence of the universe.
Now that gravitational waves have been discovered, it’ll be interesting to lay back and wait what happens in the field of physics and astronomy. Going by the pace that things are happening, it’s likely that we’ll be hearing a lot of other interesting things sometimes shortly.