In 1916, Albert Einstein revolutionized the physics world with his theory of general relativity. This theory was the first to predict the existence of gravitational waves - a fascinating concept. Gravitational waves are effectively ripples in the curvature of spacetime which travel outward from the source - sources could possibly include binary star systems composed of white dwarfs, neutron stars or black holes. Gravitational waves cannot exist in the Newtonian theory of gravitation, since in it physical interactions propagate at infinite speed.
Einstein’s theory of general relativity effectively states that gravity is a phenomenon due to the curvature of spacetime. Massive objects cause this curvature - with mass being roughly proportional to the strength of the curvature that object produces. As massive objects move around in spacetime, this curvature inevitably changes. In general, gravitational waves are produced by objects whose motion include acceleration and are not symmetric (examples of symmetrical motion would be an expanding balloon or spinning cylinder). When accelerated, these objects would cause disturbances in spacetime which would spread like ripples on the surface of a pond. This disturbance is known as gravitational radiation - which is thought to travel at the speed of light and never stop or slow down, yet weaken with distance.
Although gravitational radiation has not been directly detected, there is indirect evidence for its existence. The 1993 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded for measurements of the Hulse-Taylor binary system, which suggests that gravitational waves are much more than mere mathematical anomalies. gravitational wave detectors exist, yet they remain unsuccessful in detecting such phenomena.
UCSD Physicist Uses Math to Beat Traffic Ticket
A physicist at the Univeristy of California San Diego used his knowledge of measuring bodies in motion to show in court why he couldn’t be guilty of a ticket for failing to halt at a stop sign. The argument, a four-page paper delving into the differences between angular and linear motion, got the physicist out of a $400 ticket.
Man Arrested for Stealing Milk - While Dressed in Cow Suit
Okay, okay - I know this isn’t science related, but it’s pretty funny.
An18-year old Virginia man was arrested earlier this week after successfully managing to slip past the Walmart staff and steal 26 gallons of milk - all while dressed in a cow suit.
“This is probably one of the most unique efforts of shoplifting I’ve seen,” a spokesman for the Stafford County Sheriff told InsideNova.com.
While no one in the store did anything to stop the cow-suited culprit when he was strolling around the Walmart on all fours, he was spotted near the store handing out the stolen moo juice to passersby.
The belligerent bovine was later spotted “skipping down the sidewalk” in the cow suit by Walmart staffers.
He was later apprehended, out of his costume, at a nearby McDonald’s (perhaps he is in cahoots with the Hamburglar?). Police found the cow garb in the suspect’s car but just to make sure it wasn’t the world’s biggest coincidence, they took the teen back to Walmart where he was identified as the suspect.
The greatest crime here is that there is no surveillance footage of the theft.
Eerie, glowing waves appear in Maldives
Don’t get creeped out if you’re surrounded by unearthly glowing spots during a midnight swim. Scientists say it’s a completely natural biological (albeit eerie) phenomenon. In recently released photos from the Maldives on the National Geographic’s website, the shoreline surf is dotted with tiny pinpricks of light, seeming to reflect the constellations above. This “bioluminescence” is simply blue light from phytoplankton, microscopic sea creatures that secrete illuminating chemicals as a survival mechanism. Tweeps are calling the marine spectacle “amazing” and “awesome” — though we’d like to know how many would actually dive in for a romp with the light-emitting organisms.