Scientists eagerly awaiting statement on gravitational waves

Scientists eagerly awaiting statement on gravitational waves

The global science community is eagerly waiting for the imminent event that is widely expected to confirm that the existence of elusive gravitational waves -- small ripples in space and time that dash across the entire universe at the speed of light.

The event, called by the U.S. National Science Foundation, will bring together scientists from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) scientists.

The scientists at the event, which is slated to take place this Thursday at 10:30 a.m. at the National Press Club in Washington, are expected to announce that they have discovered gravitational waves.

Abhay Ashtekar, the director of Penn State University’s Institute for Gravitation & the Cosmos, said, “I believe in the next decade, our view of the universe is going to change really quite dramatically.”

Literally, gravitational waves are ripples in space-time’s curvature that are caused by collisions of massive and compact cosmic objects like black holes and neutron stars. The existence of gravitational waves was first hypothesized by Albert Einstein in the year of 1916, as part of his ground-breaking general theory of relativity.