Rumors about massive physics discovery Swirl

eienstienRarely does a tweet not involving a Kardashian or a cat stir up such a swell of excitement. On Monday, physicist Lawrence Krauss tweeted that scientists may have discovered gravitational waves, phenomena first predicted byAlbert Einstein more than 100 years ago but never observed, Gizmodo reports. “If true … it would probably be a shoo-in for this year’s Nobel Prize in Physics,” the blog states. According to Discovery, gravitational waves—ripples in space-time—are believed to be created by things like black holes, supernovas, and “galactic mergers.” The Washington Post reports their discovery could help scientists study black holes and other cosmic curiosities. “We would have a new window on the universe,” Krauss tells the Guardian. “Gravitational waves are generated in the most exotic, strange locations in nature.”

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Gizmodo reports the official word out of LIGO—the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory—is that it’s still analyzing data and has nothing to report at this time. And Krauss tells the Guardian he’s only 60% positive the rumors are true. He tells the Post he only tweeted about the possible discovery because he’s heard other physicists discussing it. But scientists say it could be dangerous to post those kinds of things before findings have been peer-reviewed and confirmed. If what’s reported turns out to be false, the public trust in science and scientists could be damaged. But, as Gizmodo notes, “If confirmed, this would be one of the most significant physics discoveries of the last century.” (Meanwhile, Stephen Hawking says black holes aren’t as black as we’ve been led to believe.)

 

This article originally appeared on Newser

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s