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.
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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