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Researchers have confirmed that they successfully measured the so-called waves from the space-time structure. The world of physics is excited about the fact that Einstein’s last unproven theory has been confirmed.

“We detected gravitational waves. We did it!”, said David Reitz, executive director of Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO).

In a press conference in Washington that was anticipated long before this event, he confirmed that his team detected on September 14, 2015, waves caused by two black holes while colliding.

“It took a few months to check, recheck and analyze every piece of available data … to make sure that what we saw … was a gravitational wave,” added Reitz.

Reitz said it was “exactly” how the theory of renowned physicist Albert Einstein predicted a century ago, regarding waves caused by two colliding black holes.

“The two black holes weigh about 30 solar masses. They are located at a distance of about 1.3 billion light years, ” said the scholar.

Broadcasting an audio recording with the wave that was able to measured by the team, researcher Gabriela Gonzalez from LIGO said that it took the signal a billion years to reach Earth.

Now “not only can we see the universe, but we can also listen to it”, added the researcher.

Historic announcement

Scientists who worked on this project for decades participated in the press conference and among them were the representatives of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and of LIGO.

LIGO team has used a system with two identical detectors located in the states of Louisiana and Washington to detect vibrations from the tiny gravitational waves while they were passing through.

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Detecting gravitational waves opens a new window to the universe and its most violent phenomena, and offers new opportunities in astronomy with data about very remote stars, galaxies and black holes.

Analysts said that this discovery provides a new way of studying the state of the universe at the begining.

Century-old theory

A century ago, within the Theory of Relativity, Einstein supported the existence of gravitational waves. He described how the waves are produced by disturbances within the structure of space-time, when a massive object – such as a black hole or a neutron star – moves through that space-time.

Einstein speculated that gravitational waves form like waves in a lake, which are created when a stone is thrown into water, says Deutsche Welle.

But until now, scientists have managed to only find indirect evidence of their existence, because the waves are extremely difficult to measure.

Small Vibrations

The waves emitted by a pair of black holes that are in orbit, for example, will spread for over one million kilometers and have a wavelength less than the radius of an atom.

The announcement confirmed rumors that have circulated in the scientific community for several months, that the LIGO team really has succeeded for the first time to directly detect these waves.

The Nobel Prize?

There are high expectations that the project’s main researchers will receive the Nobel Prize in Physics for this discovery.

Several other groups have tried to observe gravitational waves but have provided only vague clues or their researches were later invalidated.

In 1993, two scientists from Princeton won the Nobel Prize in Physics for the discovery of a new type of pulsar which provided indirect evidence of the existence of gravitational waves.

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