For the first time, astronomers have recorded the gravitational waves given off by the formation of a new black hole.
The waves, which rippled out from the cosmic newborn like the sound waves emanating from a ringing bell, are the first of their kind to be detected and studied, according to research published Wednesday in the journal Physical Review Letters. And it’s that distinct “ringing,” the researchers said in an MIT press release, that lends even further credibility to Einstein’s theory of general relativity.
Waves given off by the newborn black hole lend evidence, according to the press release, to Einstein’s prediction that black holes have only three observable properties — mass, spin, and electric charge. The scientists were able to probe the gravitational waves for values of the black hole’s mass and spin that matched other observations of the black hole.
“We all expect general relativity to be correct, but this is the first time we have confirmed it in this way,” NASA and MIT astrophysicist Maximiliano Isi said in the press release.
READ MORE: Scientists detect the ringing of a newborn black hole for the first time [MIT via Phys.org]
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