What are gravitational waves? As you probably thought, they are rippels in space time, but how are they created and how can we measure them?
Imagine you have a huge trampoline which, in our case is the space-time Everything you put on this trampoline, which has mass, will bend the elastic surface. The more mass the objects have, the more will the trampoline bend. If you put another smaller object close enough to the previous object, it will colide with it. This is visualized gravity!
What would happen, if you put close 2 big mass objects? They will first spin around each other, stretching or tightening just a little bit the whole trampoline.
These are GRAVITY WAVES discovered by Einstein over 100 years ago!
When 2 black holes get close to each other, they will orbit each other for some time, and then they will collide. Due to their big density, mass and gravitational pull, they will disturb the whole other space-time, by stretching or shrinking it. This phenomena happens every day, but the disruption is so small, that nothing and no one can observe.
Gravity waves can acctualy be observed by a construction named LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory).
LIGO uses two 2 km (1,28 miles) tubes with mirrors at each end and 2 constantly traveling light beams. When space is disturbed from the gravity waves, the light beams won’t travel the same distance, and nowing that speed of light (c) is constant in all the universe, the light beams will travel that distance in less time. Because gravity waves are very small, LIGO is very precise. LIGO has detected gravitational waves 2 times in its operation.
Gravitational waves are another misterious things in our Universe, which we know a little of. Hope that technology will advance more in the near future, for us to learn more about our misterious world.