Learn the ins-and-outs of gravitational waves in just three minutes

MinutePhysics gives you the best short, hands-on guide to last year’s biggest discovery.
By | Published: February 23, 2017 | Last updated on May 18, 2023

Last year’s discovery of gravitational waves was a monumental discovery in physics. The signals from the merger of two black holes sent ripples not just through space-time, but through the physics community as well. It was one of the final pieces in the puzzle of Einstein’s theory of relativity, and was a long-sought phenomenon needed to explain how the universe works.

But what are they?

In a three minute video, MinutePhysics breaks down the basics. Like ripples in water, gravitational waves are ripples in the fabric of space-time. But rather than a pebble, gravitational waves are caused by the motion of the stars themselves. If an energetic event happens, like a black hole merger, we can detect those with sophisticated instruments.

So sit back, relax, and take a small chunk of your day to learn about a seemingly invisible force that shapes our universe.