In a joint press conference, scientists have just announced one of the biggest discoveries in physics and cosmology in years. This announcement directly proves the last of Einstein’s theories.
Scientist have announced for the first time ever, gravitational waves have been directly detected.
According to a Reuters report:
Scientists said on Thursday they have for the first time detected gravitational waves, ripples in space and time hypothesized by physicist Albert Einstein a century ago, in a landmark discovery that opens a new window for studying the cosmos.
The researchers said they detected gravitational waves coming from two black holes – extraordinarily dense objects whose existence also was foreseen by Einstein – that orbited one another, spiraled inward and smashed together. They said the waves were the product of a collision between two black holes 30 times as massive as the Sun, located 1.3 billion light years from Earth.
This discovery confirms the last of the verifiable pieces of Einstein’s theory of general relativity. The confirmation that the LIGO detectors work also means that we will now be able to investigate the most powerful and mysterious objects in our universe, such as black holes, more directly.
If you’re still unsure what all of this means, here is a great video from PBS Space Time that explains gravitational waves and the means by which we detected them.