Experts from the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) shared before Congress possible findings from their most recent announcement, the confirmation of gravitational waves, ripples in the fabric of space-time predicted by Albert Einstein over a century ago.
LIGO scientists were asked by the congressional panel members about what does the discovery mean for humanity, science and innovation, as reported by Space. Sheer inspiration have been shared with the scientific community and the general public, but that is closely followed by the ability to build a stronger, international workforce and to create spin-off technologies, the scientists said.
The window to this new world of gravitational waves has just been cracked open, said David Shoemaker, project leader for Advanced LIGO and director of the LIGO Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
“As we open it wider and more people look out on the landscape, we will be rewarded with discoveries that will, time and time again, give us all, scientists, students, leaders and laypersons, a thrill of understanding things much bigger than ourselves,” added Shoemaker.
Other scientists qualified the new discovery as a beginning, not an end. It marks the birth of gravitational-wave astronomy, a new tool for understanding the cosmos, said aid Fleming Crim, assistant director for the National Science Foundation’s Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences.
Even though experts cannot accurately predict what is it that they are going to find out about the universe, they are sure that it will be important. For this reason, they focus on keeping up with research, and with this comes the Advanced LIGO.
The continued study of gravitational waves holds great promise for future surprises, so researchers are continuing to improve the sensitivity of LIGO’s detectors, which could help to gather other important data about the phenomenon.
This Advanced LEGO is designed to be three times more sensitive than its predecessor, which caught the data that confirmed Einstein’s theory, and should begin observations with an even greater reach this summer, said Crim.