back to article Boffins on alert: Brace yourselves for huge gravitational wave coming within a decade

The most violent gravitational waves in the universe from supermassive black hole prangs will be detected to within ten years, according to research published on Monday. Gravitational waves were predicted by Albert Einstein and finally discovered in 2015, a century after his theory of general relativity was formalized. Ripples …

  1. ThatOne Bronze badge
    Coat

    In short, the gravity of the situation eludes us.

  2. Captain DaFt

    In other words,

    "Boffins on alert: Brace yourselves for huge gravitational wave coming within a decade"

    Surf's Up! ☺

  3. Teiwaz Silver badge

    Re: In other words,

    Any chance of building a giant surf board ark to get off the planet - we've left it too late for a B-Ark as at this point we're outnumbered.

  4. Michael Habel Silver badge

    Re: In other words,

    >Implying that you better then the rest of us... We all came off the "B Ark"...

  5. Aladdin Sane Silver badge
    Headmaster

    Re: In other words,

    *you're

  6. Winkypop Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Surf's up!

    I imagine this will be long-board territory.

  7. Tom 7 Silver badge

    Re: Surf's up!

    Never ever surf something that travels at the speed of light. It takes no time to get anywhere so the only thrill you get is when you wipe out at infinity and try and work out how to get home.

  8. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    Re: Surf's up!

    "he only thrill you get is when you wipe out at infinity and try and work out how to get home."

    What's the problem? Did you forget to make your reservation at the The Restaurant At The End Of The Universe?

  9. Neil Barnes Silver badge
    Coat

    That process could take longer than the current age of the universe,

    I'll get some popcorn. And perhaps some marshmallows; could be a long wait.

  10. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

    Re: That process could take longer than the current age of the universe,

    Will still finish before ASOIAF

  11. Florida1920 Silver badge
    Pint

    Huge gravitational wave coming within a decade

    Thanks for the warning. At least there's time to finish my beer.

  12. Stoneshop Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Re: Huge gravitational wave coming within a decade

    So, that'll be not just Eddy's sofa, but a couple of easy chairs as well, a side table plus a reading lamp materialising on Lord's Cricket Ground then.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    you basically have a 100 percent chance of detecting something in 10 years

    It can't possibly be a 100% chance, for something that is only *predicted* to happen and has never been detected before.

    They might say their models show a 99.99% chance that everything will be aligned for an event the model predicts - but there's always a chance that something in the model isn't what they expect, or something in the universe isn't what we expect. With our current state of knowledge, 95% of the universe isn't even observable yet.

    Of course, if in ten years' time this signal isn't detected, we will have learned something new, and that's good. But it is pretty arrogant to say with certainty now what may or may not be observed.

  14. Chris G Silver badge

    @AC. Solo,, what you are saying, is the 100% certainty is certainly uncertain? That's certainly interesting.

  15. Rich 11 Silver badge

    The 100% certainty is certainly mathematically uncertain.

  16. Not also known as SC Silver badge

    The way I read the article is that these collisions are happening all the time but our current detectors are not powerful enough to pick up the impact of gravity waves on pulsars etc. The article is then suggesting that in ten years time the detectors will be sensitive enough. Again a rash statement but this interpretation shifts the focus from the actual events occurring* to the way we detect the events once they occur.

    *I think the argument is that as the universe is so big, all possible events are happening all the time if we just know how and where to look.

  17. Mr._Ed

    One of the sources in the text of the article elaborates on this exact point more clearly whereas the article vaguely alludes to it; right model (100%), wrong model (<100%) then go back to the drawing board. Communicating science to the public sometimes glosses over details.

  18. PNGuinn Silver badge
    Holmes

    The 100% certainty is certainly mathematically uncertain.

    The bistromathics of it all eludes me.

  19. Andy 68

    So all we have to do is to work out *exactly* how improbable it is....

  20. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    Re: The 100% certainty is certainly mathematically uncertain.

    "The bistromathics of it all eludes me."

    You need a nice hot cup of tea.

  21. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
    Coat

    So how many points do you score in intergalactic bar billiards if you pot one supermassive black hole into another?

    I'll get me coat

  22. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge

    whoops!

    So how many points do you score in intergalactic bar billiards if you pot one supermassive black hole into another?

    None if you knock over the giant black space mushroom :(

  23. Tom 7 Silver badge

    Re: whoops!

    No points - but I'd imagine there is a market for the video in Germany.

  24. x 7 Silver badge

    Can you surf a gravitational wave?

  25. unwarranted triumphalism Bronze badge

    I'm glad to see they're not wasting their time on frivolities.

  26. James 51 Silver badge
    Go

    As am I. Imagine wasting your life in finance or marketing when you could be doing something cool like that.

  27. Hollerithevo Silver badge

    Sigh.

    eom

  28. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

    Hey, aren't you the same guy who was busy being offended on behalf of other people yesterday? Good to see you're not wasting your time.

  29. DNTP Silver badge

    Gravity Apocalypse in Ten Years

    Everyone is going to die! Send me all your money!

  30. 2+2=5 Silver badge
    Joke

    Huge ripple (Mmm! chocolate)

    Headline: HUGE GRAVITATIONAL WAVE

    Article body: "large ripple"

    Perhaps the wave's so big it's got ripples on it?

  31. Tom 7 Silver badge

    Re: Huge ripple (Mmm! chocolate)

    They're not ripples - they're bow waves from the plancs.

  32. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    Re: Huge ripple (Mmm! chocolate)

    "They're not ripples - they're bow waves from the plancs."

    Beeeeelions of very tiny surfers?

  33. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

    So which is it?

    100% chance in 10 years, or "longer than the current age of the universe"?

  34. David Roberts Silver badge

    Re: So which is it?

    Unfortunately both.

  35. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    Add to the list

    Sounds like yet another cause of the wife's headaches, first it's flashing lights, then it's the weather (is it going to rain?), then it's the air pressure ... soon it will be ... "Sorry honey, not tonight, that gravitational wave has upset my stomach..."

  36. hi_robb

    Wow

    This article was heavy reading...

  37. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    Re: Wow

    This article was heavy reading... read it when the wave comes through, it's a bit lighter then.

  38. TrumpSlurp the Troll Silver badge

    Watching for light to detect gravity wave?

    I think that was what was said.

    Assuming gravity waves travel at the speed of light then as you see the light blink you know the gravity wave just went past.

    Obviously missing something, but what?

  39. Schön

    Would it help if we put a bag over our heads or something?

  40. John Savard Silver badge

    The Universe Is Doomed!

    What other conclusion can I draw from the statement that it is virtually certain that we will detect an event, within the next ten years, that may take longer than the age of the Universe to actually happen?

    Well, perhaps not; perhaps the approach of two supermassive black holes prior to their indefinitely-delayed collision will still be detectable by the means outlined, anomalies in the observed timings of pulsars. Still, this again illustrates the pitfalls of science reporting in the popular press.

  41. JasonT
    Trollface

    The Reg Blocking it's own ads?

    That screenshot of The Reg does not have the usual cruft of border adds and such (I'm currently seeing IBM). Home page loads horribly until you put in something like Ghostery, disable the 15 trackers on The Reg's home page, and then... yeah, you can see the speed improvements in Quantum.

  42. This post has been deleted by its author

  43. erikborgo

    Is it possible to harvest energy from gravity waves?

    ... is it possible and would it be worth the effort?

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2018