Albert Einstein, Gravitational Waves, and Me

Why Astrophysicists Were So Desperate to Catch a 'Whopping Big Signal' from the Universe

Like nearly every other physicist in the world last week, I was glued to my computer screen watching the recent press conference jointly called by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) and the National Science Foundation. We’d all heard chatter, of course, that a grad student last fall had seen a “whopping big signal” that was nearly too good to be true. But none of that anticipation could compare to the way I felt upon hearing the historic words at the press conference:

“Ladies and gentlemen, we have detected gravitational waves. …

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Did Isaac Newton Need Peer Review?

Scholarly Journals Swear By This Practice of Expert Evaluation. But It’s a New Phenomenon That Isn’t the Only Way To Establish the Facts.

Last month, scientists at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics announced a finding that could be one of the most important scientific discoveries of the 21st century. BICEP 2, their microwave …