Einstein’s 100-year-old prediction of gravitational waves comes true

, 1:21 PM IST

Washington: A team of researchers has detected gravitational waves, 100 years after Einstein predicted so.

For the first time, scientists have observed ripples in the fabric of spacetime called gravitational waves, arriving at the earth from a cataclysmic event in the distant universe. This confirms a major prediction of Albert Einstein’s 1915 general theory of relativity and opens an unprecedented new window onto the cosmos.

Gravitational waves carry information about their dramatic origins and about the nature of gravity that cannot otherwise be obtained. Physicists have concluded that the detected gravitational waves were produced during the final fraction of a second of the merger of two black holes to produce a single, more massive spinning black hole. This collision of two black holes had been predicted but never observed.

The gravitational waves were detected on Sept. 14, 2015 at 5:51 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time by both of the twin Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) detectors, located in Livingston, Louisiana, and Hanford, Washington, USA.

The discovery was made by the LIGO Scientific Collaboration (which includes the GEO600 Collaboration and the Australian Consortium for Interferometric Gravitational Astronomy) and the Virgo Collaboration using data from the two LIGO detectors.

The detection of gravitational waves marks the beginning of a new way of observing the universe, said one of the authors Harry, adding that now physicists have evidence that LIGO detectors can detect gravitational waves, it is exciting to think about how much we will likely learn about the nature of gravity.

The detection paper is published in Physical Review Letters. (ANI)