Big news today, The Light Interferometry Gravitational wave Observatory (LIGO) has just announced (Link) the first direct detection of gravitational waves. These were predicted by Einstein back in 1913 and have been indirectly observed through their distortion of light by optical telescopes but this is the first time they have been detected by a purpose built instrument.

The Atlantic have two good articles here and here.

I think there’s some poetic justice in the fact that Einstein’s relativity project was motivated by the result of an interferometry experiment, the Michelson Morely experiment. Now 100 years later Relativity is vindicated by a device which is fundamentally just a scaled up version of the same equipment Michelson and Moreley used.

Well done to the LIGO team.

[Above image By ESA/Hubble & NASA [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons]