Scientists announced that, for the first time in history, gravitational waves have been detected; confirming Einstein’s gravitational wave theory.
Gravitational waves are ripples in spacetime throughout the universe. What’s truly remarkable about this discovery is that Albert Einstein predicted the existence of gravitational waves 100 years ago, but scientists have never been able to detect them, until now.
Watch, what it is all about below:
The discovery came out of the U.S. based Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO). The mission of LIGO was to directly measure gravitational waves. In order to do that, LIGO scientists needed to construct the most precise measuring device the world had ever seen.
The LIGO project, which began in 1992, was the largest scientific investment the National Science Foundation (NSF) has ever made.
At an NSF press conference this morning, LIGO Laboratory Executive Director, David Reitze, said “This was a scientific moon shot. And we did it – we landed on the moon.”
Gravitational waves are so exciting because they were the last major prediction of Einstein’s general theory of relativity that had to be confirmed, and discovering them will help us understand how the Universe is shaped by mass.
The discovery is a great triumph for three physicists — Kip Thorne of the California Institute of Technology, Rainer Weiss of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Ronald Drever, formerly of Caltech and now retired in Scotland — who bet their careers on the dream of measuring the most ineffable of Einstein’s notions.