Geek out time. Gravitational waves have finally been discovered. One of Einstein’s predictions was that gravity waves would effectively make space shrink and stretch. The effect is incredibly small. The first detection was from a pair of black holes colliding, and even that event only changed the Earth’s dimensions by about the width of one atomic nucleus. This is a major confirmation of Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity. There are no immediate practical applications, but gravity waves are speculated as possible communications media because they pass through everything. There is an immediate collection of practical applications in the technology developed to detect and measure the waves. Detectors sensitive enough to measure a shift in space of one atomic nucleus over the diameter of the Earth is an impressive accomplishment. This is also the first measurable proof of the existence of black holes, which we can’t see directly. Pure science progresses from such discoveries, confirming existing hypotheses, encouraging additional research, and inspiring innovations that are rarely apparent at the time. Congratulations, science.
(Click on the graph for the link.)