Tag Archives | relativity

Einstein’s Gravity Waves Could Be Found with New Method

This illustration depicts the gravitational waves generated by two black holes orbiting each other. Credit: NASA

This illustration depicts the gravitational waves generated by two black holes orbiting each other.
Credit: NASA

via Live Science:

Gravitational waves, invisible ripples in the fabric of space and time, might be detected by looking for the brightening of stars, researchers say.

These mysterious ripples were first proposed by Albert Einstein as part of his theory of general relativity. The waves’ size depends on the mass of the objects creating them.

“Gravitational waves are emitted by accelerating masses,” said lead study author Barry McKernan, an astrophysicist at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. Really big waves are emitted by really big masses, such as systems containing black holes merging with each other. [See images of gravitational waves]

Scientists have still not made direct observations of gravitational waves, although researchers continue to endeavor to detect them using experiments involving lasers on the ground and in space.

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Crazy People Make Sense

Picture: Aries Author (CC)

Quinn O’Neill writes at 3quarksdaily:

Given the amount of senseless and stupid behavior that we perceive, it might seem outrageous to claim that people – all people – make perfect sense. The crux of my argument rests on the idea that behaviors are caused, and to the extent that they are caused – fully, I believe – they will always make sense if the causal factors are understood.

This seems to be the approach that we intuitively take when we observe unusual behavior in animals. We don’t blame the animal and label it a dumbass, we assume there’s something causing the behavior, like an illness, the presence of another animal, or the animal’s having been trained by humans. A bizarre behavior could also have a strong genetic component; maybe it’s evolved because it’s adaptive or maybe it’s the result of a spontanteous deleterious mutation. In any case, we’re likely to attribute the behavior to material causes rather than to blame the animal.

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