Joe McNally/Getty Images

إتمام  ما بدأه آينشتاين

كوتبرغ - منذ زمن سحيق في مجرة فضائية نائية جدا، اصطدمت وتوحدت اثنتان من الثقوب السوداء الهائلة - كل واحدة منهما كٌتلتها أكبر بثلاثين مرة من الشمس - وبعثت انفجارات قصيرة وقوية من موجات الجاذبية. فانتشرت طاقة الانفجار عبر الكون بسرعة الضوء، وخفت قوتها بانتشارها في الفضاء الهائل.

بعد مرور أكثر من بليون سنة، وصلت طاقة الانفجار اٍلى الأرض كإشارة ضعيفة بشكل لا يصدق، واستمرت لمدة عٌشٌر الثانية. وفي 14 سبتمبر/ أيلول 2015، اكتشف علماء من مرصد قياس موجات جاذبية تداخل الليزر (ليغو) في الولايات المتحدة موجات الجاذبية مثل ذبذبات لطيفة - وبهذا أثبتوا أول تأكيد لتنبؤ ألبرت أينشتاين قبل 100 سنة.

يستخدم مركز ليغو، الذي يعمل تحت إشراف المؤسسة الوطنية الأمريكية للعلوم، اثنان من مقاييس التداخل المتقدمة. فعجائب التكنولوجيا الحديثة هذه، تقع على نهاية الطرفين من البلاد وقد وضعت حيز التنفيذ قبل وقت قصير من نجاح عملية قياس موجات الجاذبية المعروفة باسم (GW150914)، والتي تستخدم مبدأ تداخل الضوء. وكشفت هذه العملية السلالات في هندسة الفضاء والزمن الناجم عن موجات الجاذبية وذلك عن طريق قياس التغيرات في طول ومقياس التداخل. وفي حالة (GW150914)، فقد تغير الطول بأقل من واحد في الألف من حجم البروتون.

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