I don’t pretend to fully understand what this means, but this week a bunch of links went out about gravitational waves, as predicted by Einstein, finally showing up and offering the fabled smoking gun for the Big Bang theory.
An object of sufficient density will cause a dimple in – I’m just going to go ahead and say it – the very fabric of space-time itself, and the denser the object, the more measurable that dimple will be, at a distance and over time.
I’m not sure I’ve gotten this right, but it seems as though these gravitational waves had never really been found before, as given off by planets or stars or whatever. But the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics did manage to find a signal from the big one: possibly the ripples left in space-time after the rapid expansion of the universe right after the Big Bang. Because that’d be some density, right there.
When I saw this article, I was moved to lyricism:
Ad-libbed hilarity (if I do say so myself). It’s not perfect, nor is it the entire song, but I was rather proud of it considering the time-scale by which I was operating. Which, unlike the gravitational waves of cosmic inflation, was quite short.
Well, the article I linked describes cosmic microwave background radiation as “the comic fog that fills the universe and represents the earliest detectable radiation”. I felt I should do my part to add to that, in my own small way.
Stay tuned as the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (Advanced LIGO, although I personally would have been happier if they’d found some way of making it be “Advanced LEGO”) plans to check out black holes colliding, and all sorts of other serious shit.
In the meantime, bills to pay and nappies to change.