· · ·

Einstein’s general theory of relativity confirmed: Gravitational waves observed for the first time


Gravitational waves, the ripples in the spacetime fabric, were observed for the first time, the scientists confirmed on February 11, 2016. The waves resulted from a cataclysmic event of two black holes merging in the distant universe. Their existence, first predicted in 1915, by Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity, has now opened an unprecedented new window in our knowledge of cosmos.

The gravitational waves were detected on September 14, 2015, at 09:51 UTC, by the twin Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) detectors in Livingston, Louisiana, and Hanford, Washington, US. The discovery was made by the LIGO Scientific Collaboration, which includes the GEO Collaboration and the Australian Consortium for Interferometric Gravitational Astronomy, and the Virgo Collaboration using the data from the two LIGO detectors.

YouTube video

Video credit: National Science Foundation

According to experts, the observed gravitational waves were produced in 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 approximate location of the source of gravitational waves detected on September 14, 2015, by the twin LIGO facilities is shown on this sky map of the southern hemisphere. The colored lines represent different probabilities for where the signal originated: the purple line defines the region where the signal is predicted to have come from with a 90% confidence level; the inner yellow line defines the target region at a 10% confidence level. Image credit: LIGO

These plots show the signals of gravitational waves detected by the twin LIGO observatories at Livingston, Louisiana, and Hanford, Washington. The signals came from two merging black holes, each about 30 times the mass of our sun, lying 1.3 billion light-years away. The top two plots show data received at Livingston and Hanford, along with the predicted shapes for the waveform.Time is plotted on the X-axis and strain on the Y-axis. Strain represents the fractional amount by which distances are distorted. As the plots reveal, the LIGO data very closely match Einstein's predictions. The final plot compares data from both detectors; both detectors witnessed the same event, confirming the detection. Image credit: LIGO

The scientists estimated the black holes were about 29 and 36 times the mass of the sun, and the event took place 1.3 billion years ago. About three times the mass of the sun was converted into gravitational waves in only a fraction of the second. A peak power output was about 50 times that of the whole visible universe.

YouTube video

Image credit: Caltech

The detector in Livingston recorded the event 7 milliseconds before the detector in Hanford, and by looking at the arrival time of the signals, the source was located in the Southern Hemisphere.

According to general relativity, a pair of black holes orbiting around each other lose energy through the emission of gravitational waves, causing them to gradually approach each other over billions of years, and then much more quickly in the final minutes.

During the final fraction of a second, the two black holes collide into each other at nearly one-half the speed of light and form a single more massive black hole, converting a portion of the combined black holes’ mass to energy, according to Einstein’s formula E=mc2. This energy is emitted as a strong final burst of gravitational waves. It is these gravitational waves that LIGO has observed.

YouTube video

Image credit: Caltech Strategic Communications and Caltech AMT

Joseph Taylor, Jr., and his colleagues first demonstrated the existence of gravitational waves in the 1970s and 80s. In 1974, Taylor and Russell Hulse discovered a binary system composed of a pulsar orbiting a neutron star.

Taylor and Joel M. Weisberg in 1982 found that the orbit of the pulsar was slowly shrinking over time because of the release of energy in the form of gravitational waves. For discovering the pulsar and showing that it would make possible this particular gravitational wave measurement, Hulse and Taylor were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1993.

YouTube video

Video credit: LIGO/SXS/R. Hurt and T. Pyle

The new LIGO discovery is the first observation of gravitational waves themselves, made by measuring the tiny disturbances the waves make to space and time as they pass through the earth.

"Our observation of gravitational waves accomplishes an ambitious goal set out over 5 decades ago to directly detect this elusive phenomenon and better understand the universe, and, fittingly, fulfills Einstein’s legacy on the 100th anniversary of his general theory of relativity," said Caltech’s David H. Reitze, executive director of the LIGO Laboratory.

The beginning of a new era

"This detection is the beginning of a new era: The field of gravitational wave astronomy is now a reality," said Gabriela González, LSC spokesperson and professor of physics and astronomy at Louisiana State University.

"With this discovery, we humans are embarking on a marvelous new quest: the quest to explore the warped side of the universe—objects and phenomena that are made from warped spacetime. Colliding black holes and gravitational waves are our first beautiful examples," said Kip Thorne, Caltech’s Richard P. Feynman Professor of Theoretical Physics, Emeritus.

YouTube video

Video credit: SXS

At each observatory, the 4-km (2.5 miles) long L-shaped LIGO interferometer uses laser light split into two beams that travel back and forth down the arms (four-foot diameter tubes kept under a near-perfect vacuum). The beams are used to monitor the distance between mirrors precisely positioned at the ends of the arms. According to Einstein’s theory, the distance between the mirrors will change by an infinitesimal amount when a gravitational wave passes by the detector. A change in the lengths of the arms smaller than one ten-thousandth the diameter of a proton (10-19 meter) can be detected.

LIGO Laboratory operates two detector sites, one near Hanford in eastern Washington, and another near Livingston, Louisiana. This photo shows the Hanford detector site. Image credit: Caltech/MIT/LIGO Lab

The LIGO Laboratory operates two detector sites, one near Hanford in eastern Washington, and another near Livingston, Louisiana. This photo shows the Livingston detector site. Image credit: Caltech/MIT/LIGO Lab

Independent and widely separated observatories are necessary to determine the direction of the event causing the gravitational waves, and also to verify that the signals come from space and are not from some other local phenomenon.

Toward this end, the LIGO Laboratory is working closely with scientists in India at the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics, the Raja Ramanna Centre for Advanced Technology, and the Institute for Plasma to establish a third Advanced LIGO detector on the Indian subcontinent. Awaiting approval by the government of India, it could be operational early in the next decade. The additional detector will greatly improve the ability of the global detector network to localize gravitational-wave sources.

The collision of two black holes, an event detected for the first time ever by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, or LIGO, is seen in this still from a computer simulation. LIGO detected gravitational waves, or ripples in space and time, generated as the black holes merged. The simulation shows what the merger would look like if we could somehow get a closer look. Time has been slowed by a factor of 100. The stars appear warped due to the strong gravity of the black holes. Image credit: SXS

"Hopefully, this first observation will accelerate the construction of a global network of detectors to enable accurate source location in the era of multi-messenger astronomy," said David McClelland, professor of physics and director of the Centre for Gravitational Physics at the Australian National University.


Featured image: The collision of two black holes, an event detected for the first time ever by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, or LIGO, is seen in this still from a computer simulation. LIGO detected gravitational waves, or ripples in space and time, generated as the black holes merged. The simulation shows what the merger would look like if we could somehow get a closer look. Time has been slowed by a factor of 100. The stars appear warped due to the strong gravity of the black holes. Image credit: SXS


Commenting rules and guidelines

We value the thoughts and opinions of our readers and welcome healthy discussions on our website. In order to maintain a respectful and positive community, we ask that all commenters follow these rules:

  • Treat others with kindness and respect.
  • Stay on topic and contribute to the conversation in a meaningful way.
  • Do not use abusive or hateful language.
  • Do not spam or promote unrelated products or services.
  • Do not post any personal information or content that is illegal, obscene, or otherwise inappropriate.

We reserve the right to remove any comments that violate these rules. By commenting on our website, you agree to abide by these guidelines. Thank you for helping to create a positive and welcoming environment for all.


  1. The concensus driven theories of:
    Space time fabric, black holes, dark energy and matter, higgs boson particle. Compressed hydrogen sun, dirty snowball comets, earth’s (and the sun’s) internal dynamos, solar system formation, etc, are all based on 100 year old theories that have never conformed to classical physics particle behavior and are explained only by the creative geometry and math used to create computer models. They are in no way confirmed by experiment and replication.
    To accept these theories as fact, without a rational foundation or replication, is itself irrational.

    The processes and mechanisms that causes gravity are not understood by the concensus science mainstream. What gives matter mass is not understood. Why it’s influence is millions of times faster than light is not understood. It cannot be seen, detected or measured remotely and has never been measured with the same force twice, always varying at the third decimal!
    Scientists who tell us of all the fanciful and of course unprovable marvelous new forms and effects of gravity, explain them using older fanciful unproven notions that become more convoluted and unbelievable, with each new layer of irrational nonsense.

    It is absolutely required for the cause and mechanism of gravity to be understood and verified before it can be applied to observed phenomena in space!

    Otherwise, it IS science fiction! In this case gravity waves are discovered!
    Ok, if gravity CAN travel in waves, what medium are these waves traveling through? A wave is the result of a disturbance in a given medium dense enough to transfer motion. You cannot have a wave propagating through nothing. That’s the flaw in special relativity. Maxwell’s equations require the aether in order for magnetism to exhibit behavior. Einstein had to use Maxwell’s equations but also had to remove the aether for his time factor to remain static in the form of that rubbery sheet Michu Kaku loves to show us, the one where he uses gravity to explain gravity… Uh…ok

    It’s evident, since neutrinos have finally been shown to have actual mass, that we have a rational candidate for the aether Einstein said doesn’t exist. It allows light to be a wave and gravity to be a wave. It’s the medium through which waves of magnetics and electromagnetics (light) flow.

    All those ideas are counterintuitive and ignore the more simple and rational explanations that are right in our faces. Things that can be proven by experimentation and replication wheras theoretical objects like black holes are not, because they are merely concepts.
    Just in the last ten years science tells us black holes which had such powerful gravity, nothing can escape yet now we have jets of ions and protons followed by electrons ejected lightyears away by them. We have one centered on every galaxy!
    The first contradiction above should seriously raise an eyebrow.
    The second violates their own rules of what all three forms of black holes are! I’m referring to black hole geometry. They all have asymptotical curves emanating from their center point where everything condenses into nothing. (BTW, a point is not an object, it’s a theoretical location.)

    Ok, an asymptotical curve is an ever increasing radius that disallows contact with its adjacent plane, the boundary of the hole. That requires two things…
    One is the event horizon cannot interact with the interior because they theoretically exist in two different dimensions and can never contact or influence each other. Repulsion of matter or light is therefore not rational.
    Then there’s the problem of having more than one in existence!
    Asymptotical curves are both conceptual and they are infinite. Were two to exist, they would eventually contact each other and their geometry would no longer hold the necessary symmetry to function.
    Those are all facts, surmountable only by concept, not by anything physical. If something has no shape it is not an object. A point has no shape. It’s not an object so it is not physical and therefore has no place in particle physics, astrophysics or any physics. Computer models can only describe an observed effect, they cannot define a process or explain one! Yet this Hollywood technique is continuously used as experimental proof. There’s no science there! Sure, the movie Interstellar showed convincing images but those were not photographed, they were drawn, just as virtually every shred of “proof” NASA, ESA, etc, offers up.

    So there you have it. Black holes have no foundation in reality, only in the minds and wallets of these egghead math whizzes and the astro-nomers that parasitically feed on their refuse and who fear flipping burgers above all else, do these ridiculous black holes reside.

    You wanna know what’s at the milkey ways center?
    Learn what a plasmoid is because that’s what’s staring us in the face. The sun is also a plasmoid. A plasma instability, detectable, measurable and displaying the aspects, nature and qualities we can replicate. It’s energy is carried into it, not generated unseen within. Carried by the very same Birkeland currents VLA telescopes see in space connecting stars, connecting galaxies, the same conduit that connects the sun to the earth and powers the auroras and is also replicable in a lab.
    See Dr Donald Scott’s work on field aligned currents for explanation of how they organize, draw in charged particles and flow as well as how they form stars and planets. It’s liberating not to have to force explosions, collisions, heat and gravitational accretion to explain everything when a force 38 orders of magnitude more powerful than gravity is operating, fueled by the free electrons, protons and ions that even consensus science agrees is present in 98% of the known universe.

    There are similar WTF moments looming for you on all the subjects I mentioned, and more that throw huge wrenches in the complex clocklike gears of modern funded sciences gravy train ride.

    There’s lots of stuff most folks are ignorant of.

    For example, What if I told you it’s been proven empirically that earthquakes over 8.0 are caused by spikes in the suns polar magnetic fields? Would you roll your eyes or click on this link?


    If you do, you will find a published paper that explains it. You will see the results of the University of Ohio statistics department that confirms it’s credibility with a 99.9997% confidence.

    That’s proof that fluctuations of the suns electrically variable magnetic output affects the most powerful geological activity we see occurring on earth…unless you think an 8.0 earthquake makes the suns polar field strength increase and spike in concert?

    This stuff is what mainstream calls pseudoscience lol!
    Rationally based.
    Confirmed by observation.
    Statistically sound.
    Pseudoscience… Why do you think this isn’t all over the news?

  2. No wonder that science has accepted way of its maintenance, as well as politicians that everything is based on a false rapture, to meet the free will and not his spiritual element of consciousness that is the only way of knowing the true causes of the phenomenon.
    This is a “tycoon science”

  3. We are living in unbelievable and incredible era. The falsification and fraud is not only in the political arena but also in science:Their lies are spreading all over the observable Universe

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *