Today, mainstream media outlets paused in their breathless coverage of the Zika virus to cover another science story they don’t remotely understand: the confirmation of the existence of gravity waves.You probably don’t understand the importance of this because you’re too busy on the Blaze.com posting comments that turn every story there into a conspiracy manifesto about Barack Obama, which is totally understandable. But this is a really big story.
The Czar thought he would take a moment to explain the whole situation to you dear readers, but don’t worry about having to do any serious physics research here because the Czar didn’t bother, either.
First, we have to understand what gravity is. Now that you already do, we can move to part two.
A really big object has a lot of gravity, which is also pretty obvious if you’ve ever had anything reasonably heavy dropped on you. The bigger the object, the bigger the gravity, right? Wrong: the more massive the object, the more gravity it has. See, you don’t understand gravity, which means you go back to step one for a little bit.
Welcome back. All right, so a really massive object like a black hole (or, Washington D.C. for you Blaze commentators) has so much gravity it’s positively nuts with it. Just crazy gravity. We assume you can grasp this.
Now take another black hole and throw it at the first one. Throwing a black hole should be easy for you, since you seem to have had no trouble grasping the first black hole. Anyway, if you were to imagine dropping two big rocks into a pond, you could create some really big ripples crashing into each other.
Well, gravity kind of moves like that, too. Except gravity ripples are so tiny you’d never really notice them unless you chucked two large cinder blocks into this pond. Somehow we’ve gone from grasping black holes into throwing concrete masonry units into a pond. The Czar is really losing control of this analogy.
Okay, then, if you did throw two large cinder blocks into the water, the interference patterns they’d create in the water would be really big and messy, and you might even get a wave big enough to reach the edge of the pond.
So gravity waves are like those ripples. Ordinarily, they’re super-hard to detect because it’s tough to measure minute amounts of gravity in space when you’re sitting on a six sextillion-ton earth. Heck, a fly buzzing buy creates more gravity than a gravity wave.
But okay, so scientists figured out that if you built two detectors, you could measure a gravitational mismatch in one that ought to be picked up by the second one a split-second later. And that’s sort of what happened, in the sense that the Czar has no clue how they did it, really. But no one’s going to ask you, either, so go along to get along.
Anyhow, this is a really big deal because Albert Einstein figured this all out over a century ago, except deep down, he never thought we’d be able to prove it either way: it would be too tough. And for a century, gravity waves have remained probably the biggest prediction Einstein made that we still haven’t validated until today. Not surprisingly, he had it right and his theory was the reason we discovered them. And by “we,” of course the Czar means other people.
Incidentally, the discovery of gravity waves means we can cross off one more long-held prediction of Einstein; now, the next longest-running prediction for Einstein—yet to be detected—is whether you can make really classy liquor by pouring cheap booze into a Britta water filter.
Божію Поспѣшествующею Милостію Мы, Дима Грозный Императоръ и Самодержецъ Всероссiйскiй, цѣсарь Московскiй. The Czar was born in the steppes of Russia in 1267, and was cheated out of total control of all Russia upon the death of Boris Mikhailovich, who replaced Alexander Yaroslav Nevsky in 1263. However, in 1283, our Czar was passed over due to a clerical error and the rule of all Russia went to his second cousin Daniil (Даниил Александрович), whom Czar still resents. As a half-hearted apology, the Czar was awarded control over Muscovy, inconveniently located 5,000 miles away just outside Chicago. He now spends his time seething about this and writing about other stuff that bothers him.