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Big Brains

Jan 21, 2019

All around us in the universe, stars and black holes are smashing into each other with tremendous force. These events are so powerful that they literally ripple the fabric of space-time—and these ripples, called gravitational waves, travel hundreds of millions of light-years across the universe.

Prof. Daniel Holz and fellow scientists at LIGO knew that these waves would take us closer to figuring out multiple mysteries about the universe, like its size and age. They were certain that they would be able to build an instrument so sensitive that they could pick up these signals—but not everyone was.

In this time-and-space-bending episode of Big Brains, the UChicago cosmologist talks black holes, proving Einstein’s predictions and the threat of nuclear annihilation.

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Music used in this episode: Cat's Eye by Blue Dot Sessions