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13 March 2014 11:08 am ,
Vol. 343 ,
In the shadow of the crisis in Crimea, Ukrainian legislators are weighing a pair of science and education bills that...
Researchers dependent on government funding would face a flat future under the White House's $3.9 trillion budget...
Reservoirs of cells that harbor HIV DNA woven into human chromosomes have become the bane of researchers trying to cure...
Geochemists have now incorporated in their models some details of the way naturally acidic rainwater dissolves rock...
Schizophrenia is a devastating mental disorder that afflicts about 1% of the world's population at one time or another...
Surface tension is a force to be reckoned with, especially if you are small. It enables a water strider to skate along...
- 13 March 2014 11:08 am , Vol. 343 , #6176
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A Wrinkle in Space-Time
12 November 1999 5:00 pm
In 1916, Albert Einstein predicted that violent cosmic motions should send gravitational waves rippling through the fabric of space. Today, researchers inaugurate an unusual observatory designed to catch those elusive waves. The $292 million Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO)--which has facilities in Livingston, Louisiana, and Hanford, Washington--will use laser beams to continually measure the positions of mirrors suspended in vacuum tubes 4 kilometers apart. Researchers hope the delicate detectors can discern relative wiggles as small as 1/10,000th the diameter of a proton.
"I can't imagine a more exciting new window to open on the universe," says Caltech physicist Gary Sanders, LIGO's deputy director. But LIGO probably won't sense any shimmers in space-time until both facilities are fine-tuned and ready to start eyeing the gravitational universe in early 2002.