Thursday, February 11, 2016

LIGO finally pays off, gravity waves detected in black hole collision.
This proves that black holes do exist, and that gravity waves do exist, something Einstein predicted but hadn't been verified until now. LIGO's data has always been negative so far, building better bigger more expensive tax-funded antennas, and reporting back "still no gravity waves."
Now they found them. I am not a fan of tax-funded science, especially in the United States which the founders set up to be a small government which would be an umpire in society.
On the other hand, there have been military applications of Einstein's theories, and this work could be considered part of that, although there are no known immediate applications. Sometimes investing in basic science pays off better than more boots on the ground. Gravity waves probably won't lead to some fancy new space drive or weapon, but it's also too soon to rule out possible future applications.
Answering fundamental questions about the structure of reality is a useful step in designing new methods of space travel or universe-hacking. In the short term, this will be a Nobel prize Obama can take a little credit for, unlike his last one. In the longer term, I don't know what the fallout will be from this discovery. I am snowed in in Indiana and neglecting my chores to write instead about things like gravity waves, as though I were back in Jr. High. Still, it's one of the more exciting things that's happened around here today.
Good discussion of practical applications.

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