World Science Festival co-founder and physicist Brian Greene stopped by “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” with a laser, a short video of the Earth wobbling around like jello, and the sound of two black holes colliding.
Those are the tools a physicist needs to explain just how cool it is that the LIGO team – 1,000 scientists working together around the world for four decades – recently detected gravitational waves. Their experiment confirms a prediction Einstein made in 1916 and gives us a brand new way to explore our universe. But first things first: a definition.
“What is a gravitational wave?” asked Stephen Colbert.
“A gravitational wave is actually a ripple in the fabric of space. You throw a pebble into a pond, the water ripples, right?” Greene said. “Well, this is a ripple. But not with water. It’s in space itself.”
“You are blowing my mind again,” replied Colbert.
Watch Brian Greene explain gravitational waves and answer whether or not God is Bugs Bunny: