Georgia Institute of Technology Georgia Institute of Technology

Research Horizons

Georgia Tech's Research Horizons Magazine

Headline: Right Again, Einstein

Visualization of the binary black hole coalescence that is believed to have produced the gravitational waves observed by LIGO. Video: Matt Kinsey, Karan Jani, and Michael Clark

For the first time, scientists have observed ripples in the fabric of space-time called gravitational waves, arriving at the earth from a cataclysmic event in the distant universe. Georgia Tech scientists collaborated on the discovery, which confirms a major prediction of Albert Einstein’s 1915 general theory of relativity and opens an unprecedented new window onto the cosmos.

Gravitational waves carry information about their dramatic origins and about the nature of gravity that cannot otherwise be obtained. Physicists have concluded that the detected gravitational waves were produced during the merger of two black holes to produce a single, more massive spinning black hole.

The gravitational waves were detected on September 14, 2015, by both of the twin Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) detectors, located in Livingston, Louisiana, and Hanford, Washington. The LIGO observatories are funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and were conceived and built, and are operated, by Caltech and MIT. The discovery is reported in the journal Physical Review Letters.

Twelve Georgia Tech faculty members, postdoctoral researchers, and students are currently involved in the LIGO Scientific Collaboration. The team is led by School of Physics Associate Professor Laura Cadonati, who also chairs the LIGO Data Analysis ­Council. 

— Jason Maderer

Subscribe to Research Horizons
Get the latest Georgia Tech research news through our free print magazine, monthly electronic newsletter, and Twitter feed.


Georgia Tech is home to more than 2,500 faculty members who conduct scientific and engineering research in hundreds of different research areas.

Related Stories

Read More
Read More
Read More

Media Contacts

John Toon

John Toon

Director of Research News
Phone: 404.894.6986

Anne Wainscott-Sargent

Research News
Phone: 404-435-5784

Subscribe & Connect

Follow Us on Twitter:


RSS Feeds

Subscribe to our RSS Feeds with your favorite reader.

Email Newsletter

Sign up to receive our monthly email newsletter.

Research Horizons Magazine

Sign up for a free subscription to Research Horizons magazine.