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Scientists detected telltale signs of gravitational waves using the Bicep2 telescope (far left) at the south pole. Photograph: Lindsey Bleem/South Pole Telescope blog
By Stuart Clark, The Guardian – March 17 2014
Gravitational waves could help unite general relativity and quantum mechanics to reveal a ‘theory of everything’
Scientists have heralded a “whole new era” in physics with the detection of “primordial gravitational waves” – the first tremors of the big bang.
The minuscule ripples in space-time are the last prediction of Albert Einstein’s 1916 general theory of relativity to be verified. Until now, there has only been circumstantial evidence of their existence.
The discovery also provides a deep connection between general relativity and quantum mechanics, another central pillar of physics.
“This is a genuine breakthrough,” says Andrew Pontzen, a cosmologist from University College London who was not involved in the work. “It…
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