The existence of gravitational waves was predicted by Albert Einstein already in 1916. But it took almost a hundred years before scientists were able to measure them.
– There are so many cool things with gravitational waves. The technology that you can actually measure them is amazing itself. Then it’s the universe. The discovery of gravitational waves makes it possible to get evidence that there are other universes out there. You can even travel back in time – and see the universe before it became transparent – 400 000 years after the big bang, says Lawrence M. Krauss.
He was the first one who tweeted about the rumour that the LIGO-group had managed to measure gravitational waves for the first time in history. Even though it was just a rumour by that time, the attention was enormous. One month later the discovery was officially released and reported about - all over the world.
– I don’t regret that I tweeted about the rumour. I was not leaking information from the LIGO-group. I would never have done that. I just wrote what I had heard from various other colleagues. I do think that the importance of social media is to allow people in public to be in direct contact with scientists.
Lawrence M. Krauss is also known for his way of making science understandable in a popular way. He is travelling worldwide to give lectures and talks, he stars in tv shows, movies and has written bestselling books like A Universe from Nothing and The Physics of Star Trek. Krauss has performed with the Cleveland Orchestra and he was nominated for a Grammy award for his liner notes for a Telarc cd of music from Star Trek.
How he manages to combine all these things with his research and work at School of Earth and Space Exploration and Department of Physics at Arizona State University is a mystery.
– I don’t sleep that much. Everything is important so I try to balance it, and juggle. Sometimes I don’t balance it that well. But I like being on the red carpet for a movie premiere one day and lecturing at Harvard the next day. And I like to help and to improve society. For me all this is not like work, it’s more like play. Playing with art, playing with science. I enjoy different adventures and science is a part of our culture. And if you say so, it’s kind of nice to be a rock star of science.
Text: Mia Halleröd Palmgren
Abstract of the talk in Gothenburg: Gravitational Waves
have now been discovered by LIGO, opening up a vast new window on the
Universe, as I shall describe. If we can go further and detect
gravitational waves from Inflation, this will push our empirical handle
on the universe back in time by 49 orders of magnitude, and will allow
us to explore issues ranging from supersymmetry to grand unification,
the quantum theory of gravity, and even the possible existence of other