Words of Advice:

"Never Feel Sorry For Anyone Who Owns an Airplane."-- Tina Marie

"
If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"
Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It.
" -- Unknown

"There seems to be almost no problem that Congress cannot, by diligent efforts and careful legislative drafting, make ten times worse." -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Friday, February 12, 2016

Gravitational Waves

Again, Einstein was right. Even when he wasn't sure he was.
After nearly a century, the hunt for an elusive cosmic quarry is over. With the help of lasers and mirrors, scientists have directly observed gravitational waves, or wrinkles in the fabric of spacetime itself.

Two colliding black holes, one with 36 times the mass of the sun, and the other with 29, emitted those gravitational waves as they spiralled into one another and eventually collided.

From roughly 1.3 billion light-years away, these waves spread like ripples in the cosmic pond and washed over Earth on September 14, causing a minuscule but measurable change in the distance between four sets of mirrors—two in Louisiana, and two in Washington state.
I suspect that Einstein would have been astonished that it proved possible to build an apparatus sensitive enough to detect them.

4 comments:

The Displaced Louisiana Guy said...

The Louisiana ficility is not far from my house. Less than a 30 minute trip. It's a cool place, and they have some really outgoing scientists that host a monthly "kids day" there. I'm sure a lot of crap goes on there that would be pretty boring to the average person, but they picked some great scientists to be their face for the public. My son loved going there for the kids day, and if I'm honest, I think I got almost as much a kick out if it as he did. They're doing some extremely cool stuff there.

CenterPuke88 said...

The thing that grabbed me was as I walked to class in 1986, I could see the first prototypes of the types of equipment they used to finally pin this down. That's over thirty years ago that an open roll-up door in a science building at LSU gave me a look at the start of something like this. It boggles the mind that a scientist might spend that period trying to tease out some data to finally prove something to confirm a theory. The amount of brainpower brought to bear on this over the last 100 years is incredible.

It looked like two bathysphere's were mating, all steel, pipes and curves. Set in a roughly L-shaped configuration, it wasn't much more that 30' X 30' X 10'.

Ole Phat Stu said...

Next question : if gravity waves are quantised, how "big" are the quanta? Wanna name that quantum "YoMomma" ;-)

Comrade Misfit said...

"Gravitational", not "gravity" waves. Seems there is a difference.