Skip navigation.
New Mexico State University
Department of Physics
College of Arts & Sciences

Welcome to the Department of Physics

Gravitational Waves Detected 100 Years After Einstein's Prediction

(From a news release of the LIGO collaboration, February 11, 2016)

For the first time, scientists have observed ripples in the fabric of spacetime called gravitational waves, arriving at the earth from a cataclysmic event in the distant universe. This confirms a major prediction of Albert Einstein’s 1915 general theory of relativity and opens an unprecedented new window onto the cosmos.

Gravitational waves carry information about their dramatic origins and about the nature of gravity that cannot otherwise be obtained. Physicists have concluded that the detected gravitational waves were produced during the final fraction of a second of the merger of two black holes to produce a single, more massive spinning black hole. This collision of two black holes had been predicted but never observed.

The gravitational waves were detected on September 14, 2015 at 5:51 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time (09:51 UTC) by both of the twin Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) detectors, located in Livingston, Louisiana, and Hanford, Washington, USA.

Read the entire press release: Gravitational Waves Detected 100 Years After Einstein's Prediction

For additional background about the project, you may be interested in these websites:

Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player