Outside of sci-fi and horror movies, where you know something bad is about to happen, it’s fun to see when scientists know something so big that they can barely contain their excitement. This is what has the internet in turmoil, as award-winning physicist Lawrence Krauss teases gravitational waves on Twitter.
- Lawrence Krauss isn’t actually working on the project, but he says his sources are 100% sure
- The findings, if real, would be a result of MIT’s and Caltech’s Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, or LIGO
- Researchers working on the project refuse to confirm or deny anything yet
- Gravitational waves were predicted a century ago by Einstein
- The initial rumor started in September, but it was only confirmed on Monday by Krauss
First of all, let’s talk a bit about gravitational waves. What are they? Except for showing up in Einstein’s Theory of Relativity a century ago, what else do they do?
Well, gravitational waves are ripples in the curvature of space-time, which travel outwardly from the source, usually a black hole, in the form of waves. They were assumed by Einstein to be able to transport energy in the form of gravitational radiation.
“So, what’s the big deal?” you may ask.
Well, besides from the discovery being able to help scientists finally figure out what’s going on with black holes, as well as confirm a portion of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, it would be like the Rosetta stone for archaeologists.
However, despite the world famous Lawrence Krauss’ excitement, the discovery is still kept hidden from the public currently, mostly because the research hasn’t even been completed yet.
Despite the plausible discovery only being made possible by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory recently getting a significant upgrade, the Observatory is still processing the collected data, and the researchers are still analyzing it.
This is what has gotten most researchers on the project so annoyed – the fact that Lawrence Krauss Twitted the discovery before they were even done looking over the findings will mean that the official announcement will have to be postponed, as there can be no room for mistakes.
Sure, the tweet managed to get a large part of the scientific world irritated, as they know how long it takes to go through data, as well as to have it vetted by groups of outside experts, but it also managed to spark a huge interest in non-scientific communities all over the world.
Whether the discovery will prove to true or not, at least the tweet focused some attention from the public on the scientific world, attention which wasn’t there before.
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