LIGO Document G1900864-v1

The Gravitational Wave Astronomical Revolution

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Gravitational waves ripples in spacetime were predicted back in 1918, as a mere side-effect of Einstein's theory of General Relativity. Despite massive efforts within the scientific community they remained just a theory for almost 100 years. Finally, on September 14th, 2015, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) detected the first gravitational wave. Scientists were thrilled to find that it originated from a merger of two previously unknown black holes. Since then, many more gravitational waves have been detected. We observed new black holes and witnessed the collision of two neutron stars. Telescopes are now able to capture the shadow of black holes while the ever growing network of gravitational wave observatories routinely detects new signals from black holes.

The gravitational wave astronomical revolution has truly begun! But what does the future hold? What are the unique benefits of gravitational wave astr! onomy? An d why are we building ever larger observatories on ground and in space?

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