In news that's sure to have Einstein
rolling perming his hair in his grave, scientists at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) laboratory have confirmed the existence of gravitational waves (aka ripples in space time). The waves, first predicted by Einstein in 1916, were caused by two black holes merging into one much larger black hole some 1.3-billion years ago, or when Methuselah just an angsty teenager.
It was a monstrous collision, so big that it literally shook the fabric of space-time.
These waves then spread a little bit like ripples expanding from the plunk of a pebble in water.
"It goes right through matter, right though stars," Reitze said. After 1.3 billion years, across trillions of miles of space, the waves are infinitesimally small -- 1/1000th the size of a proton, a subatomic particle.
But these small waves still stretch and compress space. It took special detectors -- the LIGO system -- to detect these tiny, tiny ripples.
WAVES IN SPACE-TIME. I don't even really know what that means but I want to ride one like Silver Surfer. Could you imagine traveling across the universe on waves in space-time? I think I'm going to write a sci-fi story about it. SPOILER: Tons of raunchy alien sex.
Keep going for a video explaining gravitational waves.
Thanks to everyone who sent this, who clearly understand science way better than I do.