MONDAY, 15 FEBRUARY 2016The waves they have detected – a blip lasting 20 thousandths of a second – originated from two black holes circling around each other and colliding, representing a whole new way we can now observe the universe other than just studying light.
Einstein would certainly be a happy man – this detection confirms his General Theory of Relativity, which predicts that accelerating mass produces ripples in space-time. These ripples, a thousandth the size of an atom’s nucleus, were now finally spotted using laser interferometry, a technique that involves reflecting lasers between mirrors and analysing any paths taken which differ from the expected.
Fascinated by this and want to find out more about what it all means?
You’ve got a fantastic chance to get to grips with all things gravity. Pierre Binétruy, Director of the Paris Centre for Cosmological Physics at Paris Diderot University, is launching a free online course entitled: Gravity! From the Big Bang to Black Holes. For a period of 6 weeks, you can advance from completely gravity-ignorant to gravity-expert! Incredibly, the course does not require any background knowledge in physics or maths (phew!), and even includes a lecture by the Nobel Prize laureate George Smoot.
The course starts on the 9th May 2016. Have a look at further information and sign up here.