Gravitational waves
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What gravitational waves do to space

Scientists have been trying to detect gravitational waves, which could offer a window on the origin of the universe.

First proposed by Einstein 100 years ago, these waves are ripples in the fabric of space-time that are produced when black holes collide and stars explode.

They form tiny, concentric wobbles that radiate out from these events at the speed of light, alternately stretching and squeezing the structure of the universe in two different directions.

This animation shows how such waves would affect a cylindrical region of space as they flit past.

  • 10 Feb 2016