For the first time in the history of science, researches have been able to observe gravitational waves, a concept predicted by Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity a century ago, when he explained that the universe is disrupted by gravitational energy.

The ripples that propagate as waves, which were produced 1.3 billion years ago as a result of a clash between two black holes, were observed at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO). According to scientists, the possibilities of such a discovery were very scarce. That’s why the new findings could change the course of science.

Numerical simulations of the gravitational waves emitted by the inspiral and merger of two black holes. The colored contours around each black hole represent the amplitude of the gravitational radiation; the blue lines represent the orbits of the black holes and the green arrows represent their spins. Credit: C. Henze/NASA Ames Research Center

An international team of more than 1,000 scientists published a report in Physical Review Letters, saying that the discoveries will represent the major breakthrough in physics for a long time. The wave that was captured on September 2015 can confirm the nature of black holes.

“Until now, we scientists have only seen warped space-time when it’s calm. It’s as though we had only seen the ocean’s surface on a calm day but had never seen it roiled in a storm, with crashing waves.” Dr. Thorne of the California Institute of Technology, who dedicated his life to demonstrate that Einstein was right, wrote to the NY Times in an email.

The National Science Foundation have invested approximately $1.1 billion for more than 40 years in order to build the installations developed to find gravitational waves. Previously, the institution had faced off criticism of people who believed that finding gravitational waves did not justify such a cost. Arizona State University’s Lawrence Krauss, who is not part of the LIGO team, said to USA Today that the discovery is a whole new window on the universe.

In 1915, Einstein changed the universe laws, saying that matter and energy distort the geometry of the universe, producing gravity as a result, wrote the NY Times. Those distortions could create ripples of gravity, which are currently known as gravitational waves.

Professor Karsten Danzmann from the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics, who participated in the collaboration, said that discovering a gravitational wave deserves a Nobel Prize, since it is as important as the discovery of the Higgs particle and the determination of the DNA structure, said BBC.

He explained that this is the first time that accurate proofs can demonstrate the existence of gravitational waves, and black holes. Professor Stephen Hawking also talked to the BBC, and added that scientists could hope to see black holes through the history of the Universe, now that the astronomy has been revolutionized.

Source: NY Times