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Bill Nye is always dressed for a party, but this time his celestial bow-tie pays respect to one of our era's greatest discoveries: gravitational waves.
07 November, 2016
At 4am on September 14, 2015, a team of over 1,000 scientists who form the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) confirmed an aspect of Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity.
<p>They monitored an energy vibration just four one-thousandths of a diameter of a proton, and it set the world ablaze with celebration. Well, more than a year later, Bill Nye is still celebrating. He never stopped. These kinds of events are rare and epochal – scientists have been looking for proof of this since 1916, when Einstein published his landmark papers. </p> <p>What the observation of the gravitational wave confirmed is that space and time are really one unit — space-time — that exist as part of a gravitational grid. When that grid is disturbed by massive events in space, the space-time continuum itself is altered. In this case, the event was truly epic: two black holes (one 36 times as massive as the Sun, the other 29 times) collided almost at the speed of light and formed a single black hole, during which they released 50 times the amount of energy released by all the stars in the known universe at that same moment. We’re still feeling the effects of it at a quantum level, and in many ways the ripple is only set to amplify in terms of the discoveries and technology this insight will lead to, eventually changing our daily existence in a very tangible way. </p> <p>Considering that Einstein’s discovery of relativity led to things like GPS, the internet, and precision agriculture, we can only imagine what existence-altering innovations the proof of gravitational waves will bring down the line. Nye expects that it will lead "to a new understanding of another aspect of physics" and insight into energy sources that will steer us down one course of energy production. </p> <p>Bill Nye's most recent book is <a href="http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781250007148"><i>Unstoppable: Harnessing Science to Change the World</i></a>.</p><p><a href="http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781250007148"><img height="150" src="%5Cr%5Cnhttps://s3.amazonaws.com/edge-misc-assets/Book+Covers/Bill+Nye+Unstoppable" width="225"></a></p>
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gravitational wave relativity Albert Einstein gravity Bill Nye LIGO black hole gravity wave universe space-time videos