Scientists Have Just Made One of the Biggest Breakthroughs In Years

Publish Date
Friday, 12 February 2016, 8:52AM
Photo: iStock

Photo: iStock

100 years ago Albert Einstein predicted this and now scientists have been able to capture it. 

For many years, scientists have had indirect evidence of the existence of gravitational waves rippling across the universe.

A landmark day for Einstein and our understanding of the universe: the detection of gravitational waves. World Science Festival's own Brian Greene explains the discovery.

Posted by Albert Einstein on Thursday, 11 February 2016

But now, an all-star international team of astrophysicists using an excruciatingly sensitive, $1.1billion instrument has actually detected one of these waves from the distant crash of two black holes 30 times as massive as the Sun, located 1.3 billion light years from Earth.

The scientists said they first detected the gravitational waves last September 14.

‘We are really witnessing the opening of a new tool for doing astronomy,’ MIT astrophysicist Nergis Mavalvala said in an interview.

‘We have turned on a new sense. We have been able to see and now we will be able to hear as well.’

Einstein in 1916 proposed the existence of gravitational waves as an outgrowth of his ground-breaking general theory of relativity, which depicted gravity as a distortion of space and time triggered by the presence of matter.

But until now scientists had found only indirect evidence of their existence.