Just now the National Science Foundation have confirmed the existence of gravitational waves that were given by the field equations legendary equations. On the day of February 11, 2015 scientists involved in this experiment publicly announced success of their observation. Initially two detectors were used who were vastly apart in geography. Some physicists claimed that this might be the Nobel prize winner of this year. For further expansion of the study and observation of these waves a new center LIGO India will be coming soon at end of this year. It was confirmed last year in experiment.
What is Gravitational Waves? The concept of these waves come from the Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity. This explains the spacetime fabric and curvature caused due to the celestial masses of universe. The masses like planets exist in this fabric and interact in a spectacular way. Einstein formulated that the interaction of heavy masses can form ripples or disturbances known as Gravitational waves. This experiment proved the legendary scientist correct after about a century of formulation.
To understand spacetime continuum simply, imagine a trampoline and think of a heavy ball at center as the sun which creates a curvature in the tight trampoline then add some marbles at certain distance from the ball or center. You will notice less curvature for objects of less weight and higher for heavier ones.
The new discovery of these ripples in the universe was detected using highly sophisticated equipment with extremely large apparatus and intense calculation. This captured data of these waves was due to to merging of two massive binary black holes. It can be considered as disturbance created in water surface due to some object.
LIGO and the NSF: National Science Foundation funded this experiment and it was possible due to the observatories known as LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory). They were situated in Hanford and Livingston with same kind of lab structure to measure or find the existence. The construction began in 1994 and it was a very risky investment for the foundation as well. It was believed to be nearly impossible to detect such a small factor.
MIT crew played very important roles in the construction, instrumentation and data analysis. The existence was proved by matching data of both centers. Now these facilities will be extended to many places around the globe including India, Australia and various parts of Europe. The ripple that was observed was due to collision of black holes that were 1 billion light years away from earth.
As told earlier these waves or ripples travel across the universe and they surely do have certain velocity( euqual to velocity of light) so they carry important information about the history. The waves can tell about its origin, time of creation, place of the incident, energy released during the merge event. It adds another dimension to the study of our space. It helps in study of the phenomenon how disruption is caused due to gravity and heavy mass, it bolsters the fact that black holes actually exist and also proves fast expansion of universe.
Scientists of many countries were involved in this experiment and for very long amount of time. Researcher Sudarshan Karki of Nepal also played a major role in this experiment. He is getting a lot of attention and respect from everywhere. Recently Mr Lujhendra Oja was in news due to his remarkable success in finding pretense of water on Mars. People of Nepal are pointing out the heavy brain-drain occurring from our country.