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12 February 2016 - Einstein's oldest theory about gravitational waves proved true

Publié par Marion Coste le 02/12/2016


Gravitational waves: breakthrough discovery after two centuries of expectation

Tim Radford (The Guardian, 11/02/2016)

Physicists have announced the discovery of gravitational waves, ripples in the fabric of spacetime that were first anticipated by Albert Einstein a century ago.
“We have detected gravitational waves. We did it,” said David Reitze, executive director of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (Ligo), at a press conference in Washington.
The announcement is the climax of a century of speculation, 50 years of trial and error, and 25 years perfecting a set of instruments so sensitive they could identify a distortion in spacetime a thousandth the diameter of one atomic nucleus across a 4km strip of laserbeam and mirror.

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Gravity

Gravitational Waves Detected, Confirming Einstein’s Theory
Dennis Overbye (The New York Times, 11/02/2016)
A team of scientists announced on Thursday that they had heard and recorded the sound of two black holes colliding a billion light-years away, a fleeting chirp that fulfilled the last prediction of Einstein’s general theory of relativity.
That faint rising tone, physicists say, is the first direct evidence of gravitational waves, the ripples in the fabric of space-time that Einstein predicted a century ago. (Listen to it here.) It completes his vision of a universe in which space and time are interwoven and dynamic, able to stretch, shrink and jiggle. And it is a ringing confirmation of the nature of black holes, the bottomless gravitational pits from which not even light can escape, which were the most foreboding (and unwelcome) part of his theory.
More generally, it means that a century of innovation, testing, questioning and plain hard work after Einstein imagined it on paper, scientists have finally tapped into the deepest register of physical reality, where the weirdest and wildest implications of Einstein’s universe become manifest.

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Spacetime
Einstein May Be About to Be Proved Right—Again
Michael Greshko (National Geographic, 10/02/2016)
If recent rumors are true, scientists have finally detected gravitational waves—shockwaves rippling through space and time itself.
Albert Einstein first proposed the existence of gravitational waves 100 years ago, and directly observing them would provide the final vindication for his masterwork: the theory of general relativity.
On Thursday, we’ll find out if Einstein is right one last time. Researchers from Caltech and MIT will convene for a press conference where they may announce that they’ve picked up the tiny wobble of gravitational waves produced by two colliding black holes.
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Scientific discoveries

'How we made the gravitational wave discovery'
Martin Hendry (CNN, 12/02/2016)

One hundred years ago Albert Einstein in his general theory of relativity predicted the existence of a dark side to the cosmos.
He thought there were invisible "gravitational waves," ripples in space-time produced by some of the most violent events in the cosmos -- exploding stars, colliding black holes, perhaps even the Big Bang itself.
For decades, astronomers have gathered strong corroborative evidence of the existence of these waves, but they have never been detected directly -- until now. They were the last part of the general theory still to be verified.
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"12 February 2016 - Einstein's oldest theory about gravitational waves proved true", La Clé des Langues [en ligne], Lyon, ENS de LYON/DGESCO (ISSN 2107-7029), décembre 2016. Consulté le 26/05/2019. URL: http://cle.ens-lyon.fr/anglais/key-story/archives-revue-de-presse-2016/12-february-2016-einstein-s-oldest-theory-about-gravitational-waves-proved-true