Gravitational Waves detected, confirming a key component of Albert Einstein’s understanding of the cosmos. Derrick Pitts, chief astronomer at the Franklin Institute, and Dave Heller investigate what generates these gravitational waves, what we can learn from this new data, why this discovery is significant, and speculate about what comes next.
This image shows an array of the 512 superconducting detectors used on the BICEP2 telescope at the South Pole. The technology was key to detecting the effects of gravitational waves associated with the early epoch of our universe known as inflation. The detectors and related technology were developed and produced at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech