The scientific community is about to hit a historic landmark. Over 100 years ago that Albert Einstein mentioned the theory of general relativity and since then physicists have been looking for the formula to prove the existence of gravitational waves.
Now they seem to have found a direct evidence that would lead towards the discovery of “a new window on the universe,” said theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss.
These gravitational waves are ripples in space-time produced by an accelerated massive body. These waves are a consequence of the theory of relativity of Einstein and transmitted at the speed of light. Since scientists started mentioning them, they have only been able to find indirect evidence supporting their existence as thy observed the decay of the orbital period of a binary pulsar. Krauss’ discovery could be the first direct evidence for the existence of gravitational waves, something that could turn out to be a historic landmark in the scientific community.
This however, is not the first time that scientists talk about a scientific rumor of this caliber, the difference now is that scientists expect the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (Ligo) to announce the discovery with definitive evidence. This would result in a revolution in physics and astronomy. If they discover gravitational waves, scientists will be able to observe the universe in a way that has been impossible to date.
We would have a new window on the universe,” Krauss said. “Gravitational waves are generated in the most exotic, strange locations in nature, such as at the edge of black holes at the beginning of time. We are pretty certain they exist, but we’ve not been able to use them to probe the universe.”
Speaking about the LIGO team, Krauss said: “They will be extremely cautious. There’s no reason for them to make a claim they are not certain of.”
According to writing in the Guardian: Krauss said he was 60% confident that the rumor was true, but said he would have to see the scientists’ data before drawing any conclusions about whether the signal was genuine or not.
“I do not know if the rumor is solid. If you do not hear anything in the next two months, we will conclude that it was fake, “said the theoretical physicist.
Einstein spoke about gravitational waves in the past, predicting that these mysterious waves would be produced in extremely violent events in the cosmos, like when two black holes collide. As gravitational waves spread out into the universe, they would compress and stretch space-time.
Gabriela Gonzalez, professor of physics and astronomy at Louisiana State University, and the spokesperson for the LIGO collaboration, told the Guardian: “The LIGO instruments are still taking data today, and it takes us time to analyze, interpret and review results, so we don’t have any results to share yet.
“We take pride in reviewing our results carefully before submitting them for publication – and for important results, we plan to ask for our papers to be peer-reviewed before we announce the results – that takes time too!” she said.
Scientifically speaking, it seems that 2016 is a very exciting year, and we look forward to the numerous discoveries that scientists and researchers will eventually find.