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Finding Gravitational Waves - Looks Like It May Be Sooner Rather Than Later
Posted by Guy Pirro on 5/28/2015 7:40 PM
Predicted by Albert Einstein in 1916 as a consequence of his theory of General Relativity, gravitational waves are ripples in the fabric of space and time produced by violent events in the universe. Gravitational waves are emitted by accelerating masses in much the same way as radio waves are produced by accelerating charges. As gravitational waves travel to Earth, these ripples in the space-time fabric bring with them information about their violent origins and about the nature of gravity that cannot be obtained by other astronomical tools. Working with funding from the NSF, researchers at CalTech and MIT have designed and built the Advanced Laser Gravitational Wave Observatory in Richland, Washington with the goal of observing and recording gravitational waves for the first time. The instrumentation is sensitive enough to detect a gravitational wave-induced change equivalent to one-ten-thousandth the size of a proton diameter.
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