Mankind has a tendency to imagine possibilities before they become fact or reality. Was that sentence vague enough? Last week, scientists detected gravitational waves first predicted by Einstein one hundred years ago. There's a fair amount of science stuff that might go over people's heads in this next link, but skip down to the paragraph entitled 'Relativity'. The whole article is worth a read. I'm still trying to comprehend how dense a neutron star is. The scale is quite staggering to my meager imagination.
What does that mean for us? Well for starters, we are understanding our universe a bit better. Seeing things that were previously invisible to us. Gravity is invisible, but now we are bringing it to a visible spectrum. A picture we can see, quantify and relate to.
This reminds me of when Voyager 1 flew past Io, one of Jupiter's moons. Before the flyby, it was generally believed the moons were dead rocks floating in space. Oh how wrong we were. A scientist at JPL flipped a switch and viewed the Jovian moon in an infrared spectrum, something we couldn't do until a short time before. In that one moment we had to re-write what we thought about the solar system. All that from being able to view the universe in an otherwise invisible spectrum. Now that we know what to look for, I imagine a few more books are going to need editing.
First we imagine it, then we do it.
Da Vinci imagined the parachute and helicopter, among other ideas. Those were the first two inventions that sprang to my mind.
Jules Verne wrote about going to the moon and under the sea. Now we have submarines and rockets. I don't think the originators of the ideas they imagined would be done in just such a way.
The original helicopter 'screw'
seems almost comical compared to this
The concept of the spinning rotor is the same, but everything else...
Different, but tied together.
You might recognize this equation: E=mc2. Think about those two black holes in the article above. The emitted energy when they collided and we can finally detect, measure and understand what happened. A quote from Tesla springs to mind: "If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration."
Sound waves, light waves and now, gravity waves. Infrared, ultra violet, X-ray and visible light. I see the connections and others more knowledgeable than myself understand it better. I'm humbled by the possibilities this brings.