Stein, Alfred P Sloan, Canada discussed on Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen
It. Which of course sounds like a bird in the northern regions of magical Canada. People always giggle in the hair. I think they expect something a little bit like lower tone brand gets cute and rumbling and intimidating and terrifying. So that is the sound of to bark holes colliding. Yeah, that is the final one. Fifth of a second of two black holes that have been orbiting each other for we don't know how long maybe a billion years we don't know, and it's it's it's again, like mallets on a drum. It rings space time, but only in the final one. Fifth of a second is loud enough to be detected by the LEGO machine. One point, three billion years later. It, which is like as much of your world is and physics just makes me feel like. Yeah. I mean the that level of precision that I mean, earth is rumbling. It's moving. It's almost unbelievable that that measurement could be made it as an this is why became so enamored of the experiment I'm theorist I sit with pen and paper, and I just work it out and math to have the gall in a way and the confidence to build something just strikes me as a mazing and to believe you're gonna beat down exactly. Hurricanes winds off the Gulf earthquakes in China flying overhead, the rum trucks driving by on the highway. All of these things womp swamp the signal. And so that's what the chief it really is about all that's beautiful. And I get why this is an important thing to prove, but like, okay, great. What's in it for us? You know, I have to tell you, we don't always. Have the language for what's in it for us. But I know that on that day on February eleventh, twenty sixteen when they announced the discovery, the whole world stopped literally the whole world stopped. I was interviewed for aljazeera TV. You know somebody interviewing me from Qatar and we're talking for a second about being under the same sky, and there's just something tremendous about the human desire to know and the insanity of doing an experiment like this and and the idea of learning about our place in the universe. And it should be something that's absolutely unifying if we're really lucky, it will be a lot like the advent of the telescope three hundred years ago really. So if you think about that, all we could look for things. We knew existed. Galileo was looking at the sunspots and the rings of Jupiter because he knew those things existed, but he didn't foresee galaxies and he didn't foresee black holes or quasars. He didn't foresee an expanding universe. All of this. Was was just the beginning and most of the universe actually is dark. So very, very small percentage of the universe is luminous gives us light for telescopes to collect interesting. So so we now have this new giant of three mile six mile telescope essentially that that listens instead of look. So it's like a recording device to lay the soundtrack down for the universe. When all we've had is kind of a silent movie and these series of frozen snapshots. So what would our our friend Einstein have thought of of this detection? One hundred years, something wise. Wise who, again was one of the original architects of the machine talks about. He says, he wishes he could show I and Stein this this discovery, and I think it would have been up -solutely remarkable to him. He never believed there would be any experiment ever in the future of humanity that could do this. I think it would be a lot of exciting aspects of consequences of his great idea coming together. Gentleman. Thank you so much. Could be here. Gentlewoman is an astrophysicist and the author of black hole blues. And that's it. For this week's podcast bonus episode, if you wanna find out more about relativity enrolling college or small steps checkouts to three sixty dot org, where we've got links to the books. We mentioned in this series. This series was produced with support from the Alfred P Sloan fish our next science and creativity. Special podcast episodes are about the neuroscience of laughter. Make ten minutes of good belly laugh would give me two hours, pain-free sleep. Is laughter really the best medicine that's next time on studio, three sixty special science and creativity series. Thanks for listening and you can subscribe to studio sixty at I tunes or overcast or Stitcher, or wherever you get your jets.