Watch: Understanding the biggest physics discovery in decades

Scientists may have proven Einstein’s last unproven theory. Watch Perimeter Institute panel right here at 1pm ET to understand why this changes the game


A century ago, as part of his grander theory of relativity, Albert Einstein posited that gravitational waves existed. Gravity, he said, comes from the fact that spacetime—the very fabric of our universe, according to Einstein—is curved by mass. However, though scientists have seen indirect effects of these gravitational waves, these “ripples in spacetime” have never actually been documented, because they do not give off light. But they represent, in effect, the final piece in the puzzle that Einstein left behind. (Click here for a one-minute primer on what they are.)

That final piece has started clicking into place.

On Thursday morning, the National Science Foundation assembled some of science’s top minds—including those at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO)—and announced the discovery of gravitational waves. It may be the biggest discovery in the physics field in decades, and it will change how the field is studied.

To help us understand this potentially game-changing physics discovery, the Perimeter Institute in Waterloo will host a panel discussion with some of Canada’s smartest brains. The panel, hosted by Kate Lunau, will feature Perimeter Director Neil Turok, and faculty members Luis Lehner, Mina Arvanitaki, and Latham Boyle, discussing the importance of the discovery, what it means for physics, and what new insights into our universe it will make possible. You can watch an exclusive live-stream of this event below, at 1 PM ET.


Watch: Understanding the biggest physics discovery in decades

  1. Ah hah. Now we know time if flexible — simultaneous reincarnation and reverse reincarnation for those of you who follow religion and therefore a great revelation since it makes the soul alive and dead at the same time.
    Good ol’ Einstein knew this and that is why he died happy, if he died at all.

  2. My little brain is too unsophisticated to understand gravitational waves and their scientific significance.
    However I’m certain that the quest to understand and explain the creation of, functioning, and purpose of our universe will eventually lead to the question of a “First Cause”. And that question has only two possible answers: (1) A Creator. or (2) A fluky, inexplicable, meaningless accident.
    Eventually the scientists will be forced to turn to the theologians for the final answer to the Big Question.

    • There is no God

      Give the fairy tales a rest.

      • Emilyone:
        You’re quite sure of yourself, aren’t you? In fact I would say you’re damned sure.

        • Yes, Indeed, science doesn’t lie

          fairy tales do.

          • This is a first. I AGREE WITH EMILY!!!!!!!!!!! Gods have historically existed to explain things people couldn’t understand. So there were sun gods, rain gods, thunder gods, etc. Those gods all fell into disuse when science explained those things. Science will explain all and the need for the last God will be no more.

Sign in to comment.