relativity

Category archives for relativity

“The design of the universe…is very magnificent and shouldn’t be taken for granted.” -Charles W. Misner One of the more puzzling aspects of our Universe is that, no matter which direction we look in, no matter how far away we check, its properties appear to be practically identical. This is surprising, since no signal can…

“Gamow was fantastic in his ideas. He was right, he was wrong. More often wrong than right. Always interesting; … and when his idea was not wrong it was not only right, it was new.” -Edward Teller 100 years ago, our conception of the Universe was so small it’s almost laughable. We still were mired…

“We hope that interested people will repeat our calculations and will make up their own minds regarding the significance of the results. It is obvious that “belief” is never an alternative to “understanding” in physics.” -J. Creswell et al. Three times now, the LIGO collaboration has produced very strong evidence that black hole pairs, from…

“In expanding the field of knowledge we but increase the horizon of ignorance.” -Henry Miller You know it as the most fundamental law of relativity: that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light. And yet, the observable Universe itself, which has been around for 13.8 billion years since the Big Bang, is now…

“What’s really exciting is what comes next. I think we’re opening a window on the universe — a window of gravitational wave astronomy.” -Dave Reitze, executive director of LIGO It revolutionized our view of the Universe when the LIGO annoucements – and we’re up to three, now – came out. They indicated the direct detection…

“We have never observed infinity in nature. Whenever you have infinities in a theory, that’s where the theory fails as a description of nature. And if space was born in the Big Bang, yet is infinite now, we are forced to believe that it’s instantaneously, infinitely big. It seems absurd.” -Janna Levin You’ve likely heard…

“One of the great things about music is that it has the capability of time travel – you smell a certain smell in the room and it takes you back to your childhood. I feel like music is able to do that, and it happens to me all the time.” -M. Ward Have you ever…

“It is conceptually interesting, if not astrophysically very important, to calculate the precise apparent shape of the black hole… Unfortunately, there seems to be no hope of observing this effect.” -Jim Bardeen Black holes were one of the first consequences of general relativity that were predicted to exist, and the more we’ve studied the Universe,…

“It appears, from all that precedes, reasonably certain that if there be any relative motion between the earth and the luminiferous ether, it must be small; quite small enough entirely to refute Fresnel’s explanation of aberration.” -Albert A. Michelson In the 1880s, it was clear that something was wrong with Newton’s formulation of the Universe.…

“If you haven’t found something strange during the day, it hasn’t been much of a day.” -John Archibald Wheeler Today, we take the existence of gravitational waves for granted. They were predicted by Einstein almost immediately following the first publication of general relativity, they were indirectly detected decades ago and they’ve been directly detected multiple…