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posted by mattie_p on Tuesday February 25 2014, @11:02AM   Printer-friendly
from the einstein-could-be-wrong-you-know dept.

AnonTechie writes:

"The search for gravity waves has been a century long epic. They are a prediction of Einstein's General Theory of Relativity but for years physicists argued about their theoretical existence. By literally squeezing light on a quantum level, scientists are refining detection instruments to an extent never seen before.

If you want to place bets on the date of first detection of some gravity wave then some physicists would bet on 2016, probably the majority would bet 2017. A few pessimists would say that we will discover unexpected problems that might take a few years to solve."

 
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  • (Score: 5, Informative) by stormwyrm on Tuesday February 25 2014, @12:49PM

    by stormwyrm (717) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @12:49PM (#6577) Journal

    There is conclusive evidence for gravity waves, and their effects have been noted from the careful observation of PSR B1913+16 [wikipedia.org] which is a binary pulsar system 21,000 light years away in the constellation Aquila. The two neutron stars that make up this system orbit each other around their common centre of mass, however, they're spiralling into each other because their orbits are gradually losing energy precisely as predicted by the theory of gravitational waves from General Relativity. They'll eventually collide and probably merge into a black hole in about 300 million years. This has been convincing enough indirect evidence of the reality of gravitational waves that the scientists involved, Russell Alan Hulse and Joseph Hooton Taylor, received the 1993 Nobel Prize in Physics for their discovery and analysis of this pulsar.

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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by VLM on Tuesday February 25 2014, @01:35PM

    by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday February 25 2014, @01:35PM (#6591)

    You are correct, although I think it best explained by analogy that Maxwell's and Marconi's experiments were all well and good and no one seriously claimed they were wrong, but, folks still want to build radio telescopes anyway.

    • (Score: 5, Funny) by c0lo on Tuesday February 25 2014, @01:58PM

      by c0lo (156) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @01:58PM (#6600) Journal

      You are correct, although I think it best explained by analogy that Maxwell's and Marconi's experiments were all well and good and no one seriously claimed they were wrong, but, folks still want to build radio telescopes anyway.

      Yes, but not to confirm the theory. It was only because they thought it would be a pity to waste such a cool acronym like SETI.

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