Science Nerd Twitter Reacts To The Discovery Of Gravitational Waves

Science Nerd Twitter Reacts to the Discovery of Gravitational Waves

The physics world erupted with joy and wonder this morning, when scientists from the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) confirmed the existence of gravitational waves. This will easily be the science story of the year, so people are naturally freaking out. Even the anticipation was outrageous:

This is what a bunch of excited scientist looks like:

Once the announcement became official, everybody really flipped out. In general, though, the physics community and the science world as a whole is just pumped about this Nobel Prize-worthy discover. Some folks are somewhat speechless:

Some used big words like "pandemonium":

Some made jokes:

Some gave thanks:

Some promoted their blogs:

Some provided helpful links to the full academic research paper:

Some wrote poems?

Some were speechless:

But really, we are all SarcasticRover:

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    See for me, SarcasticRover sums it up. As nice as it seems to be that another of Einsteins theories has been proven, what does it actually mean?

    How does this (potentially) translate to the common person? Is it going to get me my flying car any faster? Or a proper hoverboard that doesnt explode every 5 minutes?

    I have no doubt that this is huge, but WHY should we be excited? I'm just not getting that reason.

      It changes our fundamental understanding of how the universe works. While it doesn't help alleviate your difficult life, it's the start of new tools to help us look into where we came from and where we are going.

      Plus it might lead to some cool new pictures for you to use as a desktop background.

      But if this doesn't float your personal boat (because why think of your civilisation), there are plenty of massive advances in things like material and quantum sciences that WILL make your life easier very soon.


        Oh, dont get me wrong. As I said, I get that this is massive, and I'm easily nerdy enough to be excited, but I cant figure out WHY its so exciting. What does the detection of gravitational waves actually mean?

        Pure science is hard to understand at a real world level, thats all. Two black holes crashing into each other and dumping 5% of their mass like ripples on a lake I can understand, but does that mean we can extrapolate that and build a boat to ride those ripples?

        So far from what I've read, all people are saying is basically the same as you - it changes our fundamental understanding - but give no information on how.

        Are we likely to be able to generate our own gravitational waves any time soon as a result of confirming something stated a century ago?

        I'm not being argumentative here, I genuinely want to know how this is significant beyond "it changes our understanding of the universe".

        If for ME, all it means is I get some more cool desktop pictures, sweet, I could do with a change. But I want to know what it means in practical terms, not philosophical terms. Make it relevant, not just something to discuss in a classroom.

          Let me clarify an earlier statement.

          In practical terms it means we can potentially use gravitational waves in a similar fashion to radio waves, to look at new layers of the universe.

          Visible spectrum telescopes can't see through things like gas clouds, so we use infra-red, X-ray, etc to build more detailed pictures, to penetrate further layers of matter.

          Gravitational waves, once we've further developed our technology to read and analyse them, will let us look right to the core of things like the supermassive black holes at galactic centres (which are typically hard to see for all of the very bright, very dense matter which orbits them).

          There's also talk of looking into the past of our universe, beyond the creation of light (which only came about several hundred million years after the clock started). Gravity pre-dates light, and we might be able to hear the ringing of the universe from those very early growth spurts, when big, important events were going down which led to the current universe being the shape it is.

          Last edited 12/02/16 2:03 pm

            Thank you. The first couple of paragraphs was what I was after.

          In practical scientific terms, it's exciting because we've been able to prove something that has only ever been mathematically theorised but not actually ever observed in nature. We now have the certainty that this is a physical quantifiable and measurable phenomenon.
          Where we go from here is really up to the imagination and hard work of theoretical physicists, scientists, and engineers.
          What it actually means for the future science really remains a mystery, but we can potentially glean much more knowledge about gravity, mass, the fabric of space-time, and how they interact, the beginnings of the universe... maybe even magnets(?!)—among many other things.
          Consider that the search for black holes led to the Wi-Fi and GPS technologies we enjoy today. Could this spawn the birth of anti-gravity? gravity drives? space-folding? Who knows?? But boy is it exciting!

      What Cubits said.

      Cubits middle paragraph sums it up except for a handful of theoretical physicists around the world.....oh I take that back. They'll want the new desktop background as well.

    If its not a feature for the next iPhone, you're not excited????

      Dont assume I'm being cynical here, I'm not. I just want to know how this changes things. Its a century old theorem thats now been proven. Great, Albert Einstein was a genius. We already knew that.

      But by the way a few people have reacted, asking the question about why its important means I need to be strung up and quartered. Isn't asking questions the reason they were looking for this in the first place? Sweet, they found proof, but right now why is it important outside of a classroom or laboratory?

      Its simple to me. We found something, we know its important. The next question is "now what?", or "what do we do with the info?". Its the answers to those that are important, not proving something Einstein predicted a century ago.

        I came across this article which discusses some practical science that could be applied to this knowledge:

    Waiting for the imminent arrival of the first "Gravitational Waves gave me Cancer" articles...

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