From the August 2010 issue

What are gravitational waves, and what do they have to do with the Big Bang? Can scientists detect them?

Akshata Doddamani, via newsletter
By | Published: August 23, 2010
Gravity waves from colliding black holes
Gravity waves radiate through space in this computer visualization of the process. Although gravitational waves have not yet been seen, relativity theory suggests they exist, and facilities around the world are looking for them.
Werner Benger, Zuse-Institut Berlin and Max-Planck-Institut für Gravitationsphysik

Gravitational waves are fluctuations of space-time caused by masses in motion. Models of the Big Bang and inflation (a brief period of hyperexpansion) predict that the dynamics of the expanding universe generated primordial gravitational waves. Fortunately, scientists have several prospects for detecting them.