This week’s Bearnobull’s Weekender is from our daughter-in-law Leah Grace:
So, you do you want to hear two black holes colliding? Take a listen (audio from the New York Times):
Imagine coming up with a theory that upends 200 year-old accepted laws of physics because something about it just doesn’t make sense to you. Imagine not having any kind of instrumentation to even experiment the equations that you come up with and in fact, would take a hundred years for you to be proven right. (…)
If you need a refresher on Einstein’s theory of general relativity, there’s a great infographic here.
What makes Magic Leap very special is not only the money it has raised – an impressive $1.4B with no product yet – but also its technology. Existing VR tricks the eyes by showing a different image of the same object to each eye (stereoscopic 3D). Magic Leap meanwhile shines light directly into the retina, blending with the light received from the real world. This tricks the brain which makes actual and projected objects indistinguishable. Imagine talking to your parents in your living room, except they live 5000 miles away. Not a lot of people have seen this technology firsthand but those that have tend to be super excited about it.
Watch the Magic Leap demo on Leah’s blog.
From The Economist:
Gravitational waves: it’s a massive deal
A century ago Albert Einstein explained gravity as the effect of massive objects distorting the fabric of space and time. Another consequence, he predicted, is that accelerating objects should make ripples, called gravitational waves, in that fabric. This week researchers using a pair of instruments called LIGO announced the first detection of such waves. LIGO bounces carefully aligned laser beams between mirrors 4km (2.5 miles) apart; passing gravitational waves minutely distort the apparatus, knocking the beams out of step. Looking for a near-simultaneous signal using two such instruments, in Louisiana and Washington state, eliminates false alarms caused by terrestrial rumblings. Analysis shows that the waves detected were caused by the cataclysmic collision and merger, more than a billion light-years away, of two black holes, weighing 29 and 36 times as much as the sun. It’s another triumph for Einstein—and heralds a new way of observing the universe, using gravity rather than light.
Lastly, from my old friend Terry: