Skip to main content

This is the most profound explanation I've heard of what it means to detect gravitational waves

"We can hear the cosmos."
The scientific world is still reeling over the first ever detection of ripples in the fabric of space-time, called gravitational waves.
Albert Einstein predicted their existence 100 years ago but never believed we'd actually detect the waves. So right now if you hang around physicists, who can't contain their excitement, you're bound to hear some profound scientific poetry.

One scientist from the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) experiment, which announced the detection of gravitational waves on February 11, shared what is perhaps the most beautiful and poignant description Tech Insider has heard so far.

Physicist Szabi Marka, a LIGO collaborator based at Columbia University, gushed about the coming scientific revolution to a crowded Columbia lecture hall in New York.

"The skies will never be the same," Marka told the audience, mainly physics students. "Gravitational waves will let us listen to the music of the cosmos."

NASA
Marka's use of the word "listen" is no accident.
Sound travels as waves, and so does a gravitational wave. Except instead of air or water or some other matter, gravitational waves move through a medium that permits everything in it — you, me, the Earth, the stars — to exist at all.

What's more, when something calamitous happens in outer space, like the truly awesome collision of two black holes, the waves warp space as they pass by. Until September 2015, when LIGO first recorded this "music," it was entirely out of reach of humankind.

No telescope that detects light of any wavelength — radio, microwave, infrared, visible, ultraviolet, X-ray, or gamma — could have detected such an event.

NASA
"Imagine that you can touch, you can smell, you can taste, you can see, and one day, one day you can hear. That day is a glorious day," Marka said. "You can appreciate Beethoven … Your life will never be the same again. This is what happened to us. This is what happened to us as a community."
Marka finished: "From today, we can hear the cosmos. We can see the unseen."

Many researchers, like Marka, told us the discovery of gravitational waves is just the beginning of a revolution in science. It's such a radically new paradigm that the detection itself brought with it a (growing) list of firsts.

"We're humans, we're curious, and on a quest to understand such weird things that are a big part of our universe," Kip Thorne, a physicist at Caltech and a cofounder of LIGO, told Tech Insider. "It's a quest that's part of dream of humanity that goes back to a child's earliest days."

This is the most profound explanation I've heard of what it means to detect gravitational waves
By Dave Mosher, businessinsider.com
http://flip.it/diWnB

Popular posts from this blog

A historic moment in the Arab world

لحظة تاريخية في العالم العربي
As a democratic revolution led by tech-empowered young people sweeps the Arab world, Wadah Khanfar, Al Jazeera's director-general, shares a profoundly optimistic view of what's happening in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and beyond. In the first talk posted online from the TED 2011 conference in California, Khanfar describes the powerful moment when people realised they could step out of their homes and ask for change. "كما ثورة ديمقراطية بقيادة الشباب التكنولوجيا ذات صلاحيات تجتاح العالم العربي ، وضاح خنفر ، الجزيرة المدير العام والأسهم وجهة نظر متفائلة بشكل كبير ما يحدث في مصر وتونس وليبيا وخارجها. وفي اول حديث له نشر على الانترنت من مؤتمر تيد 2011 في ولاية كاليفورنيا ، خنفر يصف لحظة قوية عند الناس أدركت أنها لا يمكن الخروج من منازلهم ونطلب من أجل التغيير."
http://www.ted.com/talks/wadah_khanfar_a_historic_moment_in_the_arab_world.html This talk was given on March 1, 2011 in Long Beach, California. TED 2011 is taking place between March 1 and Mar…

Our Captured, Wounded Hearts: Arundhati Roy On Balakot, Kashmir And India

With his reckless “pre-emptive” airstrike on Balakot in Pakistan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inadvertently undone what previous Indian governments almost miraculously, succeeded in doing for decades. Since 1947 the Indian Government has bristled at any suggestion that the conflict in Kashmir could be resolved by international arbitration, insisting that it is an “internal matter.” By goading Pakistan into a counter-strike, and so making India and Pakistan the only two nuclear powers in history to have bombed each other, Modi has internationalised the Kashmir dispute. He has demonstrated to the world that Kashmir is potentially the most dangerous place on earth, the flash-point for nuclear war. Every person, country, and organisation that worries about the prospect of nuclear war has the right to intervene and do everything in its power to prevent it.  Keep reading  >>>>


India has built around itself an aura of a global power whose time has come. For at least the last t…

Kashmir Jihad - Analysis & Options

PDF: http://bit.ly/2k0Vqpm

Kashmir is an incomplete agenda of partition of India. Since 1947, India and Pakistan have fought three wars on this issue. According to UN resolutions, Kashmiris have to decide their accession to Pakistan or India through impartial plebiscite, which could not take place due to Indian reluctance. Recently, India revoked Article 370 of the Constitution, which granted special autonomous status to Kashmir, it was done to unilaterally integrate occupied Kashmir. This is a violation of the UN resolutions and the Simla bilateral agreement, which demands to maintain status quo until the final settlement. The US and world powers are emphasizing that Kashmir should be resolved bilaterally, though India has refused to hold talks with Pakistan. In the present scenario, while India has turned Kashmir into the largest prison of 9 million people, denying basic human rights and oppressing the Kashmiris' who want freedom from India, Pakistan cannot watch as a silent spec…