Catch a Wave

Catch a Wave

Sensing ripples in the space-time sea from gravity's juggernauts

By Peter Weiss, 15:47 PM April 15, 2008

The starship suddenly shudders violently. "What was that?" the alarmed captain asks the ship's computer.

The computer deduces that a burst of gravitational waves has rolled through the spacecraft.

These waves, it reports, have originated from a pair of gargantuan black holes, as near to the craft as the moon is to Earth.

The captain knew that the black holes—dense objects that exert such strong gravity that even light cannot escape—had been swirling around each other. But when they slammed toget...

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