Gravitational waves finally detected

A little bit late to the news cycle but…

Gravitational waves have been officially detected by two super sensitive detectors. These things are called LIGO and basically bounce laser light really carefully about 1,600km within 4km arms to detect movements that are less than the diameter of a proton. Yes all the movement from seismic and sound sources have been removed so only the the tiny changes in space-time are detected. 


the tiny ‘chirp’ of a gravitational wave that was detected by the two sensors. image: wikipedia Abbott et al. - B. P. Abbott et al. (LIGO Scientific Collaboration and Virgo Collaboration)

But look at the scale of the frequency! 10-21. that’s incredibly tiny. 

The charge radius of a proton is 0.8775femtometres which is about 8.775 x 10-16 m

Some technical details here

wikipedia entry

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