An extraordinary finding this year of gravitational waves has totally transformed our understanding of the universe.
It’s been a century since Albert Einstein predicted that the massive collisions between cosmic bodies in space would result in ripples known as gravitational waves that could be detected here on Earth, and in 2016, that came to fruition. In February, scientists detected gravitationaal waves from a collision that happened about 1.3 billion years ago, and now it’s been declared the Breakthrough of the Year by Science magazine.
The discovery, made by scientists using the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO), totally changed our understanding of the universe and confirmed Einstein’s theory. Scientists also considered discoveries of human embryo culture, portable DNA sequencers, and the victory of Google’s DeepMind computer over Lee Sedol in a game of Go. But ultimately, no one could top LIGO.
In fact, LIGO lost the online poll to human embryo culture by 11 percent, but the scientific community clearly disagreed. LIGO won a $3 million Special Breakthrough Prize earlier this year.
A statement from earlier this year from Lomonosov Moscow State University noted that gravitational waves were discovered a second time, an important discovery that makes the foundation for gravitational-wave astronomy even stronger and more reliable.
“It is important that the second signal has been generated by the black holes with the relatively small masses, which better corresponds the astrophysicists’ predictions. Now we can be more confident that the first event was not a rare exception,” reports Farid Khalili, Professor of the Faculty of Physics of the Moscow State University, in a statement
“Gravitational waves, these flying pieces of space-time curvature, from something exotic became a common source of the new information about the universe and opened the era of gravitational astronomy,” said Sergey Vjatchanin, Professor of the Physics Department of the Moscow State University.