The confirmation of a 100 year-old theory of Albert Einstein renders any blog or website posting pretty inconsequential. While the global news machine rolls on, champing out articles about Zika, Trump, refugee crisis, there is now a fervent subsection dedicated to reporting on the discovery of gravitational waves.
The import of the discovery is condensed into stylised, eye-catching and somewhat bewildering numbers. "The announcement is the climax of a century of speculation, 50 years of trial and error, and 25 years perfecting a set of instruments so sensitive they could identify a distortion in spacetime a thousandth the diameter of one atomic nucleus across a 4km strip of laserbeam and mirror," cries The Guardian.
Why should we care? "While the political displays we have been treated to over the past weeks may reflect some of the worst about what it means to be human, this jiggle, discovered in an exotic physics experiment, reflects the best," says the New York Times Sunday Review, through the patient and poetic words of Lawrence Krauss.
The New Yorker delivers an exciting narrative of the human stories behind the science. "David Reitze, the executive director of the LIGO Laboratory, saw his daughter off to school and went to his office, at Caltech, where he was greeted by a barrage of messages. “I don’t remember exactly what I said,” he told me. “It was along these lines: ‘Holy shit, what is this?’ ”
XKCD delivers a swift dose of black line science snark, while NASA release a succinct dose of no-nonsense reporting.
One UK tabloid takes a typical run at the story. "Einstein was RIGHT!" screams the Daily Mail.
A thousand ways to tell this story. The science, now captured by observation and theory, enters the human narrative. You can read LIGO's richly detailed press release here, if you too would like to try your hand at capturing the "waves that propagate at the speed of thought."
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