Special to WorldTribune.com
Nice going, Einstein.
A century after predicting the existence of gravitational waves in his theory of relativity, scientists proved Albert Einstein right again as on Feb. 11 they announced the detection of the waves.
Einstein theorized that “space and time are interwoven into something called ‘spacetime’ — adding a fourth dimension to our concept of the Universe, in addition to our 3D perception of it,” according to a report in The Times of Israel.
“Einstein predicted that mass warps space-time through its gravitational force. A common analogy is to view space-time as a trampoline, and mass as a bowling ball placed on it. Objects on the trampoline’s surface will ‘fall’ towards the center — representing gravity.
“When objects with mass accelerate, such as when two black holes spiral towards each other, they send waves along the curved space-time around them at the speed of light, like ripples on a pond.
“The more massive the object, the larger the wave and the easier for scientists to detect.
Gravitational waves do not interact with matter and travel through the Universe completely unimpeded.
“The strongest waves are caused by the most cataclysmic processes in the Universe — black holes coalescing, massive stars exploding, or the very birth of the Universe some 13.8 billion years ago.”
The detection of gravitational waves will allow astronomers to better measure distant stars, galaxies and black holes based on the waves they make. The existence of the waves also adds to the proof that black holes do exist.
American astrophysicists announced two years ago they had identified gravitational waves using a telescope called BICEP2, stationed at the South Pole. But they later admitted they made an error.