By: Shumail Hassan

The physicists have recently discovered the gravitational waves. However, Albert Einstein had already predicted them about a century ago. According to the physicists, these waves are the same waves that had been on a bummel, even before ‘the big bang’ or the ‘cosmic egg explosion (also called as the ‘primeval atom explosion’ by George Lemaitre, a Belgian scientist)’. Being too faint and frail, these could not have been measured accurately to date. But now it became possible because of the radio-telescopes and the “cosmic microwave background radiation”. The thing which is being attested by all this is the same inflationary concept for the universe. According to which the universe is always expanding. What is meant by the “expansion”? The universe is expanding and things going away from each other in space just like the things drawn on a deflated balloon go away on pumping it up. There was another concept in cosmology under the name of “steady state theory” or scientists (being precise the cosmologists) kept on referring to steady state model of the universe that universe is not changing and is steady at all. But these concepts failed and got discarded.

The Holy Quran says already has informed us of it in surah Al-Anbiya’a (ayat#30). It goes:

“Have those who disbelieved not considered that the heavens and the earth were a joined entity, and We separated them and made from water every living thing? Then will they not believe?”

Now what are actually the gravitational waves and how these are generated and propagated? Before going into the answer, let us have a look on Einstein’s famous general theory of Relativity (formally published in 1916). In 1907, Einstein started his work on the general theory of relativity and discovered the principle of equivalence of mass and energy (the famous E equals mc-square) for continuously accelerated systems. His application for the doctorate was rejected by the University of Bern as his doctorate paper was considered insufficient. Rather he was told that his theory had been based on artistic grounds and had no physical meanings. According to him, the gravity comes from the curvature of space-time. This curvature is provided by the massive objects in space. Generally, the more mass that is contained within a given volume of space, the greater the curvature of space-time will be at the boundary of its volume.  As objects with mass move around in space-time, the curvature changes to reflect the changed locations of those objects. In certain circumstances, accelerating objects generate changes in this curvature, which propagate outwards at the speed of light in a wave-like manner. These propagating phenomena are known as gravitational waves.

But which place on this planet earth was chosen for the experiment. Leave it for next time as the article becoming lengthier!


Published in Young Nation magazine on May 14, 2016