Question

Gravitational waves are the last prediction of General Relativity. Besides the excitement of the first detection, why are astronomers, specifically, excited about gravitational waves being detected and seen on a regular basis? In other words from the point of view of an astronomer why is observing gravitational waves important? Hint, think about how we normally observe the distant universe.

Answer #1

Well, gravitational waves give us another way to observe space. For example, waves from the Big Bang would tell us a little more about how the universe formed. Waves also form when black holes collide, supernovae explode, and massive neutron stars wobble. So detecting these waves would give us a new new insight into the cosmic events that produced them.

Finally, gravitational waves could also help physicists understand the fundamental laws of the universe. They are, in fact, a crucial part of Einstein's general theory of relativity. Finding them would prove that theory—and could also help us figure out where it goes astray. Which could lead to a more accurate, more all-encompassing model, and perhaps point the way toward a theory of everything

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