2016-02-18 10:39:46 UTC
This was the guy who said he WOULD HAVE FELT SORRY "for the Dear Lord (Jesus and his Dad)"... if Eddington (May 29, 1919) had NOT observed the bending of light (as predicted by Einstein's equations)... due to gravitational lensing...
Why?, reporters prodded him, a bit puzzled as to why he'd say that.
"Because," Einstein said, "the equations were correct! (and the Dear Lord would have been WRONG, were such phenomenon and, now, gravitational waves WERE NOT to have been detected)"!
Thursday's announcement was the unequivocal first detection ever of gravity waves. The hope is that gravity wave astronomy could start to answer questions not just about the life of stars but their deaths as well: death by collision, death in a black hole, death in some rare stellar catastrophe so fierce that, for a few thousandths of a second, the blast is the brightest thing in the universe.
Even before the Ligo detectors in two US states reopened for business late last year, researchers were confident that a detection would follow swiftly. The announcement came after months of speculation, and decades of theoretical and practical work by an international network of more than a thousand scientists and engineers in Britain, Europe, the US and around the world.
Professor Kip Thorne, of the California Institute of Technology, and one of the founding fathers of Ligo, said that until now, astronomers had looked at the universe as if on a calm sea. All of that had changed.
"The colliding black holes that produced these gravitational waves created a violent storm in the fabric of space and time, a storm in which time speeded up and slowed down, and speeded up again, a storm in which the shape of space was bent in this way and that way," he said.
Prof Neil Turok, director the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics at Waterloo in Canada, and a former research colleague of Prof Stephen Hawking, called the discovery "the real deal, one of those breakthrough moments in science".