“We have detected gravitational waves,” a scientist from the United States Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory announced on February 11. “The universe had been speaking to us, but we were deaf. Now, we are able to hear.”
This declaration was followed by an audio clip of what sounded like a heartbeat. We were told that gravitational waves were a stunning discovery in the quest of to fully understand gravity, that it would usher in a new era for astronomy.
In theory, it's the warping of space-time generated by the collision of two black holes more than a billion light-years from Earth. But it's difficult for non-science world to wrap its head around the concept.
Albert Einstein first came up with the concept of gravitational waves, with the Theory of Relativity as the basis for their existence. A century and countless scientific discoveries later, Einstein's theory has been confirmed as gravitational waves were detected by LIGO.
Indian scientists have also delved into the concept of gravitational waves and say their research was initially was met with scorn. Now, however, the Union Cabinet has granted an "in-principle approval" to a proposal for establishing an observatory to study gravitational waves in India.
This episode of The Intersection takes an in-depth look at the discovery of gravitational waves and how it provides us a new window to the universe.
This is the latest episode of The Intersection, a fortnightly podcast on Audiomatic. For more such podcasts, visit audiomatic.in.