The scientific community is brimming with excitement after it emerged gravitational waves may have finally been discovered.
Lawrence Krauss, a prominent cosmologist from Arizona University, tweeted yesterday saying rumours had been confirmed by independent sources.
My earlier rumor about LIGO has been confirmed by independent sources. Stay tuned! Gravitational waves may have been discovered!! Exciting.— Lawrence M. Krauss (@LKrauss1) January 11, 2016
This is not the first time rumours have circulated, after scientists working on Bicep2, another US-led experiment, announced they had found gravitational waves in 2014. Many people are sceptical, however, and believe the effects produced from the supposed gravitational wave are in fact down to space dust.
Scientists working on the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory experiment have been looking for signals of gravitational waves pulsing through space-time since 2002. They are (theoretically) produced by spectacular high-energy events when black holes smash together or massive stars explode.
The problem with gravitational waves it that the signal is very faint: by the time they reach earth they are the size of around a billionth of an atom’s diameter.
Gravitational waves were predicted by Albert Einstein in his theory of general relativity just over a century ago. If the rumours are true, gravitational waves could shed light on the universe’s most mysterious substance - dark matter.