Observation of gravitational waves
Key, Joey Shapiro Department of Physics, University of Texas - Rio Grande Valley, Brownsville, Texas.
Littenberg, Tyson B. Department of Physics, University of Alabama, Huntsville, Alabama.
- Einstein's prediction
- Origin of gravitational waves
- Detection of gravitational waves
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
Albert Einstein's last great prediction, the existence of gravitational waves, was confirmed on September 14, 2015, when the twin Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) detectors registered a simultaneous gravitational-wave signal now known as GW150914. The gravitational waves created by the collision of two black holes in a galaxy 1.3 billion light-years away reached Earth and the LIGO detectors in Hanford, Washington, and Livingston, Louisiana, ushering in a new era of astronomy and astrophysics. A second gravitational-wave signal, GW151226, was detected by LIGO on December 26, 2015, also from the collision of two black holes in a distant galaxy. Beyond just validating a 100-year-old idea, the direct measurement of gravitational waves and the merger of two black holes forever change our understanding of the universe and open up new opportunities to study it in detail.
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