One Hundred years after Albert Einstein predicted the existence of Gravitational Waves, the announcement that they had been discovered finally came. The two detectors of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) simultaneously observed a transient gravitational-wave signal last year on September 14th.
From the Introduction in the Physical Review Letters paper:
“In 1916, the year after the final formulation of the field equations of general relativity, Albert Einstein predicted the existence of gravitational waves. He found that the linearized weak-field equations had wave solutions: transverse waves of spatial strain that travel at the speed of light, generated by time variations of the mass quadrupole moment of the source. Einstein understood that gravitational-wave amplitudes would be remarkably small; moreover, until the Chapel Hill conference in 1957 there was significant debate about the physical reality of gravitational waves.”
From the Conclusion:
“The LIGO detectors have observed gravitational waves from the merger of two stellar-mass black holes. The detected waveform matches the predictions of general relativity for the inspiral and merger of a pair of black holes and the ringdown of the resulting single black hole. These observations demonstrate the existence of binary stellar-mass black hole systems. This is the first direct detection of gravitational waves and the first observation of a binary black hole merger.”
The complete paper can be read here:
– Your Joyful Benefactor