A new and stunning discovery on black holes has been made in what we take for granted as the General Theory of Relativity. Could Einstein’s dream be nothing than the ranting of an old man obsessed with numbers and forms? Could the key to unlocking and fathoming the deepest chasm of the Universe be so close?
It seems that scientists from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) have proven just that. Based on the latest research in black holes and string theory and with the help of the Parkes Radio Telescope, located in Australia, scientists have picked up signals from deep space.
From the analysis of the modulation and amplitude, they have made what can be named the most promising breakthrough in modern sciences: the telescope has registered gravitational waves, which scientist say date back to the original Big Bang.
This discovery has been made by studying the activity of a series of pulsars for about 11 years. By proving the existence of gravitational waves, scientists tend to rethink the mechanics that stood behind Einstein’s theory and could not be denied until now.
After concluding that space-time continuum is not a homogenous mass, but a long fabric that has loopholes in it, scientists have focused on the significance of these loopholes. The latter are represented by gravitational waves that tend to puncture and disturb the normal space-time continuum.
Going back to the basics, as it was stated by Einstein in his General Theory of Relativity, when a gravitational wave passes between Earth and a millisecond pulsar, it can alter the distance between them by at least 10 meters.
Scientists state that: “There could be gas surrounding the black holes that creates friction and carries away their energy, letting them come to the clinch quite quickly”.
Because of the high frequency of appearance, scientists were unable to research and charter this phenomena until recently. So, by measuring the rate of decay of a pulsar as it is hit by a gravitational wave, we can now better understand how galaxies were formed and what the basic mechanics behind their movement is.
But this is only the beginning of a bold and unprecedented journey for our young and inquisitive race. Learning how the Universe works is not the final purpose nor the end of the road.
By proving the existence of gravitational waves, we can take a wider peek into our past, our legacy: The Big Bang, the beginning of the movement, the place where Fiat Lux! Was first shouted.
The search continues for other sources of gravitational waves which could be different than millisecond pulsars. Doctor Vikram Ravi, from Swinburn University stated that a source for these waves could be coalescing neutron stars.
And now, with the construction of the new sensitive Square Kilometer Array telescope, set to begin in 2018, astrophysicists can further study these quaint phenomena in order to reach a greater understanding of the Universe and our past.