space-time

General relativity makes many incredible predictions, but one of the most amazing is how matter can warp space. Rapidly moving heavy objects like black holes can even cause ripples in space-time called gravitational waves. In this 13-minute episode of Subatomic Stories, Fermilab scientist Don Lincoln tells us all about them.

What is time?

“What’s done cannot be undone.” Look to Shakespeare for a great quote. He had Lady Macbeth murmur these simple but profound words to herself. Who does not wish they had done something differently? But the past is past. A broken teacup will not put itself back together. A dissolved sugar cube will not reassemble itself.

Imagine an instrument that can measure motions a billion times smaller than an atom that last a millionth of a second. Fermilab’s Holometer is currently the only machine with the ability to take these very precise measurements of space and time, and recently collected data has improved the limits on theories about exotic objects from the early universe. Our universe is as mysterious as it is vast. According to Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity, anything that accelerates creates gravitational…