A team of physicists who can now count themselves as astronomers
announced on Thursday that they had heard and recorded the sound
of two black holes colliding a billion light-years away, a
fleeting chirp that fulfilled the last prophecy of Einstein’s
general theory of relativity.
That faint rising tone, physicists say, is the first direct
evidence of gravitational waves, the ripples in the fabric of
space-time that Einstein predicted a century ago (Listen to it
here.). And it is a ringing (pun intended) confirmation of the
nature of black holes, the bottomless gravitational pits from
which not even light can escape, which were the most foreboding
(and unwelcome) part of his theory.
More generally, it means that scientists have finally tapped into
the deepest register of physical reality, where the weirdest and
wildest implications of Einstein’s universe become manifest.
Remarkable science, and a testimony to Einstein’s extraordinary genius.
Don’t skip the video — it’s wonderful.