Recently, a group of scientists captured a gravitational wave coming from outer space. They said that Einstein predicted these waves almost 100 years ago. These waves were generated 1.3 billion of years ago.
A massive collision between two black holes was responsible for these waves.
Scientists detected these waves just a couple of years back. The waves had a very weak frequency. It helped a lot to answer many unknown questions.
What is LIGO?
Various scientists from nearly twenty different countries all around the world jointly ventured to start a project called LIGO or Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory.
The main equipment of this project is a laser-based interferometer designed by Reiner Weiss in the mid-1970s with a vision to detect the source of the noise. This project has been going on for nearly five decades. And it has been possible because of the hard work, knowledge, and dreams of many scientists to capture something revolutionary.
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the Nobel Prize in Physics 2017, to Reiner Weiss VIRGO/LIGO Collaboration, Barry C. Barish VIRGO/LIGO Collaboration and Kips S. Thorne VIRGO/ LIGO Collaboration for their valuable contributions in this particular aspect of science.
The Theory of Relativity and LIGO
Einstein’s general theory of relativity states that the gravitational waves travel at the speed of light when generated. The waves also fill the universe. Acceleration of mass generates these kinds of waves. The same thing happened with the two black holes. 1.3 billion years back, they suddenly collided.
Einstein couldn’t find a way to measure these kinds of waves. He predicted it to be impossible to measure. Reiner’s interferometers proved this prediction of Einstein wrong. It can measure infinite small changes. The waves were passing by the earth after this many years. The interferometers succeeded in capturing them. It also cleared many doubts regarding gravitational waves.
Another system which shows gravitational waves are a star system, viz. white dwarfs, neutron stars and black holes.
How is this path-breaking discovery going lead us in the future world of science?
This new discovery of a 1.3 billion years old gravitational waves answered many questions. This introduced a new aspect of science. This discovery introduced a whole new branch of physics.
Events emitting electromagnetic radiations are visible lights, X-rays, gamma rays etc. They are very easily detectable. There are some events which do not emit electromagnetic radiations. Events like a collision of two black holes, the smoking gun of Big Bang etc. They emit gravitational waves.
This discovery might shed some light on events emitting gravity. Events emitting gravity viz. neutron stars, black holes will get new recognition. The gravitational wave astronomy is going to get clearer with this.
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