Can gravitational waves be waylaid by gravity?

Yesterday, I learnt the answer is ‘yes’. Gravitational waves can be gravitationally lensed. It seems obvious once you think about it, but not something that strikes you (assuming you’re not a physicist) right away. When physicists solve problems relating to the spacetime continuum, they imagine it as a four-dimensional manifold: three of space and oneContinue reading “Can gravitational waves be waylaid by gravity?”

A shorter article about short gamma ray bursts lights up little

Identify a simple and well-defined question Describe the question and answer it Get the fuck out Writing with these three rules in mind makes for a good science article. You stick to the point, you know what details to include and what to leave out and, most importantly, you set straightforward expectations and meet them.Continue reading “A shorter article about short gamma ray bursts lights up little”

Onto drafting the gravitational history of the universe

It’s finally happening. As the world turns, as our little lives wear on, gravitational wave detectors quietly eavesdrop on secrets whispered by colliding blackholes and neutron stars in distant reaches of the cosmos, no big deal. It’s going to be just another day. On November 15, the LIGO scientific collaboration confirmed the detection of theContinue reading “Onto drafting the gravitational history of the universe”

Neutron stars

When the hype for the announcement of the previous GW detection was ramping up, I had a feeling LIGO was about to announce the detection of a neutron-star collision. It wasn’t to be – but in my excitement, I’d written a small part of the article. I’m sharing it below. I’d also recommend reading thisContinue reading “Neutron stars”

The nomenclature of uncertainty

Many science articles in the past year dealt with observations falling short of the evidence threshold but which have been worth writing about simply because of the desperation behind them. Has this prompted science writers to think about the language they use?

A universe out of sight

We’ve been able to find that the universe is expanding faster than we thought. The LHC has produced the most data on one day. Good news, right?

What's the universe telling us post-LIGO?

Since the LIGO Scientific Collaboration announced the first direct detection of gravitational waves on February 11, 2016, there have been at least 51 scientific papers written up on the topic discussing a variety of possibilities. The earliest papers parallel the announcement’s two ostensible achievements: Albert Einstein was right when he postulated the existence of gravitational waves inContinue reading “What's the universe telling us post-LIGO?”

What’s the universe telling us post-LIGO?

Since the LIGO Scientific Collaboration announced the first direct detection of gravitational waves on February 11, 2016, there have been at least 51 scientific papers written up on the topic discussing a variety of possibilities. The earliest papers parallel the announcement’s two ostensible achievements: Albert Einstein was right when he postulated the existence of gravitational waves inContinue reading “What’s the universe telling us post-LIGO?”

As the ripples in space-time blow through dust…

The last time a big announcement in science was followed by an at least partly successful furor to invalidate it was when physicists at the Gran Sasso National Laboratory, Italy, claimed to have recorded a few neutrinos travelling at faster than the speed of light. In this case, most if not all scientists know something hadContinue reading “As the ripples in space-time blow through dust…”

Feeling the pulse of the space-time continuum

Humans have known about the force of gravity since ancient times. Yet, we are still exploring its true nature, how it works, and why it works the way it does.