Friday, February 12, 2016

Ripples in Space

Yesterday's announcement of the discovery of gravitational waves, a phenomenon that Einstein  predicted but which had not been observed until now, does not exactly make me slap my forehead and say, "I knew it, I knew they were going to figure that out one of these days."

I had no idea that gravitational waves were even in the maybe column. Physics for me will always be a high school class I somehow registered for without the required calculus and Mr. Taylor peering over his glasses to say, "Miss Cassidy, WHY are you in my class?" 

But after reading about the "chirp" scientists heard after converting gravitational waves to sound waves, a "chirp" that had for decades eluded them, I wanted to learn more about gravitational waves, these "ripples in the fabric of space."

"Gravitational waves provide a completely new way of looking at the Universe," Stephen Hawking said upon learning of the discovery. "The ability to detect them has the potential to revolutionize astronomy. This discovery is the first detection of a black hole binary system and the first observation of black holes merging."

Black holes merging. Ripples in space. Kinda puts everything else in perspective, doesn't it?



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