Scientists to announce first-ever direct detection of elusive gravitational wavesAmy Walsh (Author) Published Date : Feb 11, 2016 18:58 ET
Scientists are widely expected to announce the first-ever direct detection of elusive gravitational waves today.
Researchers affiliated with the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) are holding a news conference today at 10:30 a.m. EST (1530 GMT) at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., and you can watch it live here on Space.com, courtesy of the LIGO consortium.
Theorized for the first time by Albert Einstein over 100 years ago, gravitational waves are basically ripples in spacetime. These ripples carry gravitational energy away from accelerating massive objects in the cosmos.
Gravitational waves are ripples in the fabric of space-time generated by the acceleration of massive objects. Their existence was first proposed by Albert Einstein in 1916, as part of his famous theory of general relativity. Scientists have found indirect evidence that gravitational waves exist, but a direct detection has proved elusive until now, apparently.
The gravitational waves are produced by disturbances in the fabric of space and time when a big-sized object moves like a black hole or a neutron star. Einstein has theorized that the gravitational waves would appear like ripples in a pond that are formed when a stone is thrown in the water.
According to the rumors, the researchers might have observed the collision of two black holes and their fusion resulting into the detection of gravitational waves. Clifford Burgess, a physicist at McMaster University in Canada, has termed the rumwors to be credible.
Tuck Stebbins, Gravitational Astrophysics Lab Chief at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, said that the viewing gravitational waves would open a new window for them to observe most mysterious workings of the universe like the fusion of neutron stars and the behaviors of black hole.
These waves are streaming to you all the time and if you could see them, you could see back to the first one trillionth of a second of the Big Bang. There is no other way for humanity to see the origin of the universe , affirmed Stebbins.
Then, at 1 p.m. EST (1800 GMT), the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Ontario, Canada, will host its own webcast about the announcement and its implications. Space.com will carry that event live.
Scientists to announce first-ever direct detection of elusive gravitational waves