Top Science Breakthrough Of The Year: Gravitational WavesBy Emily Marks, UniversityHerald Reporter
The top scientific breakthrough for 2016 is the proven existence of gravitational waves. This was originally hypothesized by Albert Einstein 100 years ago.
It was previously reported that scientists claimed this year that they were able to prove the existence of gravitational waves or ripples in spacetime that result from objects moving throughout the Universe.
The discovery was made by researchers from the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) Scientific Collaboration. Their observatories were able to pick up wave signals from two distant black holes on Sep. 14, 2015. Albert Einstein predicted gravitational waves as part of his theory of general relativity in 1916.
According to Science Magazine, this discovery could lead to a new field in science: gravitational wave astronomy. Scientists working with the LIGO announced that they were able to see what Einstein meant about a burst of waves that were created as two black holes crashed into each other 1.3 billion light years away.
The evidence of gravitational waves is an exciting discovery as it would provide physicists with a new way to study the cosmos. Scientists want to spot several more mergers between black holes and they may be able to witness such event at least once a day someday.
Other instruments from around the world would also be joining the hunt. The upgraded VIRGO detector is expected to turn on early next year and, in Japan, physicists are creating a detector named the Kamioka Gravitational Wave Detector. LIGO scientists are also planning to add a detector in India by the early 2020s.
Tech Times noted that what made this discovery a great breakthrough is that will truly help scientists learn more about the universe. Plus, it also validated Einstein's theory - which is an impressive feat considering it is century-old.
This discovery has an immense impact on science and humanity. Gravitational wave astronomy would enable humans to study objects and phenomena that were once hidden from view.