Catching a Wave, by Brian Greene

Smithsonian April 2013

Brian Greene is not only one of the foremost theoretical physicists/cosmologists, but he also has a talent for explaining some of the most difficult and abstract concepts in physics to those outside of his field.  He is author of three best-selling books that I had chosen as "Picks" in the past: "The Elegant Universe" (1999), "The Fabric of the Cosmos" (2004), and "The Hidden Reality" (2011), and I still consult them. As you surely know, the big thing in physics recently is the announcement that the existence of gravitation waves, predicted by Einstein's general theory of relativity a hundred years ago, has been experimentally confirmed by a pair of incredibly sensitive interferometers. Somebody might ask you to explain this.  It could be a student, or it could be somebody at a cocktail party who found out that you are a scientist, and therefore expects you to be an expert. In such a situation, you are likely to wish that you had read an understandable yet accurate explanation by somebody who writes physics in English. You will find just the thing you want in this article in the most recent Smithsonian magazine. 

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Sunday, March 27, 2016