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24 April 2014 11:45 am ,
Vol. 344 ,
Major climate data sets have underestimated the rate of global warming in the last 15 years owing largely to poor data...
The tsetse fly is best known as the vector for the trypanosome parasites that cause sleeping sickness and a disease in...
The National Institutes of Health is revising its "two strikes" rule, which allowed researchers only one chance to...
By stabilizing the components of retromers, molecular complexes that act like recycling bins in cells, a recently...
Fossil fuels power modern society by generating heat, but much of that heat is wasted. Semiconductor devices called...
Researchers are gaining insights into what made Supertyphoon Haiyan so powerful and devastating through post-storm...
Millions around the world got a first-hand look at what it was like to be in Tacloban while it was pummeled by...
- 24 April 2014 11:45 am , Vol. 344 , #6182
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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.