Could Gravitational Waves Prove String Theory?
Since the first direct evidence of gravitational waves was detected earlier this year, two physicists in Spain are now using this discovery to test out the scientific hypothesis of string theory.
Gravitational waves are like ripples that expand after a major event in space, such as two black holes merging or the explosion of a massive star and now physicists Isabel Fernandez-Nunez and Oleg Bulashenko of the University of Barcelona are hoping these gravitational waves could help uncover the cosmic strings believed to be incredibly long and thin defects in the curvature of space and time formed right after the Big Bang.
Fernandez-Nunez and Bulashenko hypothesize a string as a sharp crease in space-time, then calculated how a gravitational wave would pass through that crease.
“What makes gravitational waves special is that their movements don’t appear to be affected by interfering electrons and protons.” they explain “In fact, gravitational waves might allow us to observe objects and events that don’t emit any light at all, including the cosmic ‘strings’ that underlie the famous string theory hypothesis.
They conclude by stating “If we can find wave ripples that match these calculations,then we might have evidence of a cosmic string.”
Although their research is still waiting on peer-review, astrophysicists are excited by the prospects.
B.S. Sathyaprakash from Cardiff University in the UK, who works at the observatory where gravitational waves were first measured, thinks a lot of new such discoveries could be just around the corner and stated “I am pretty confident that within the next three or four years we will be making detection one by one and ticking the boxes.”