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Scientists Confirm the Existence of Gravitational Waves, Proving Einstein Right


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The Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO), based in the U.S., has spotted gravitational waves which is a bit of an anomaly. Since the discovery of Cosmic Microwave Background, this recent discovery is one the most significant astrophysical observations. David Reitze is the Executive Director of LIGO who expressed his excitement about the discovery as he revealed the fact during a press conference. Basically, gravitational waves are known as a forecast as per the Theory of General Relativity by Einstein. Einstein explained that gravity bends space-time, so as the mass of the object increases the effect accordingly appreciates at the same time.

These gravitational waves had been spotted on 14th September, 2015 when they resulted due to a couple of black holes merging into one. These are one of the few circumstances that lead to gravitational waves which one can detect. The pair of objects span nearly 95 miles and are reported to have been merged 1.3 billion years back. The two objects weigh pretty much the same as one weighed 29 times the mass of the Sun whereas the other object weighed 36 times the mass of the Sun. Like any other discovery, this one has statistical implications due to which there is merely one percent probability of this being a fluke.

The strength of the black holes is equal to 50 times the strength of each star in the universe. The energy emitted by the waves is equal to causing destruction on 3 Suns. This discovery will now facilitate the research of scientists who have been in search of proof for gravitational waves. They are known to strafe across the universe as they stretch and squeeze the space-time. Though, the vibrations are so tiny that they are tough to detect. Professor Bob Bingham from Science and Technology Facilities Council believes that it will help take a detailed look at the universe’s creation.

There are a couple of detectors for LIGO; one is based in Livingston while the other is in Hanford. Each of these is equipped with a laser system which facilitates accurate measurements of space-time. The laser beam is divided in two beams before it is directed through a couple of perpendicular tunnels. Once these laser beams are bounced back, they are put back together. Vicky Kalogera explained that the idea behind LIGO detectors is to do astrophysics since the team wishes to use the observations in order to better understand the universe.

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Hassan Aftab

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