Physics Spotlight  
Left to right: David Shoemaker, Rainer Weiss, Matthew Evans, Erotokritos Katsavounidis, Nergis Mavalvala, and Peter Fritschel. Photo: Bryce Vickmark Left to right: David Shoemaker, Rainer Weiss, Matthew Evans, Erotokritos Katsavounidis, Nergis Mavalvala, and Peter Fritschel.
Photo: Bryce Vickmark

Scientists make first direct detection of gravitational waves

LIGO signal reveals first observation of two massive black holes colliding, proves Einstein right.

Jennifer Chu | MIT News Office
February 11, 2016

Almost 100 years ago today, Albert Einstein predicted the existence of gravitational waves — ripples in the fabric of space-time that are set off by extremely violent, cosmic cataclysms in the early universe. With his knowledge of the universe and the technology available in 1916, Einstein assumed that such ripples would be “vanishingly small” and nearly impossible to detect. The astronomical discoveries and technological advances over the past century have changed those prospects.
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