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gravitational waves

Abstractions blog

LIGO Reports Second Black-Hole Merger

June 15, 2016

The spokesperson for the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory called it “a promising start to mapping the populations of black holes in our universe.”

astrophysics

After Black Holes Collide, a Puzzling Flash

March 2, 2016

A satellite spotted a burst of light just as gravitational waves rolled in from the collision of two black holes. Was the flash a cosmic coincidence, or do astrophysicists need to rethink what black holes can do?

Q&A

From Einstein’s Theory to Gravity’s Chirp

February 18, 2016

The path from a revolutionary set of equations to the detection of gravitational waves was strewn with obstacles and controversy, explains the physicist Daniel Kennefick — and the struggle continues.

astrophysics

Gravitational Waves Discovered at Long Last

February 11, 2016

Ripples in space-time have been detected a century after Einstein predicted them, launching a new era in astronomy.

Q&A

Searching the Sky for the Wobbles of Gravity

October 22, 2015

The physicist Gabriela González is on the cusp of finding the first direct evidence of gravitational waves — soundlike wobbles in space-time produced by black holes and their kin.

cosmology

Joint Dust Analysis Deflates Big Bang Signal

January 30, 2015

No definitive evidence for cosmic inflation is found, but support remains strong for the theory even as critics highlight its shortcomings as an explanation for how and why the universe began.

BICEP2 graphic.
cosmology

‘Big Bang Signal’ Could All Be Dust

September 21, 2014

Cosmic dust in the high latitudes of the Milky Way could account for the entire swirl pattern that had been presented as proof of a leading Big Bang theory, according to a new data analysis from the Planck satellite.

David Spergel
Q&A

A Bold Critic of the Big Bang’s ‘Smoking Gun’

July 3, 2014

The cosmologist David Spergel explains why a widely publicized gravitational-wave discovery could be wrong, and how the “overreaching” study could affect the public’s perception of science.

Q&A

Early-Universe Explorer Looks for Answers

July 3, 2014

Chao-Lin Kuo, who helped design the experiment that claimed to have found evidence of gravitational waves from the Big Bang, isn’t bothered by criticism that cosmic dust may account for his results.