[FPSPACE] Eanna Flanagan hunts down gravity waves -- ripples in 'spacetime' -- in quest to
ljk4 at msn.com
Thu Apr 20 16:34:04 EDT 2006
April 14, 2006
Eanna Flanagan hunts down gravity waves -- ripples in 'spacetime' -- in
quest to better understand the universe
By Thomas Oberst
Gravity is a familiar force. It's the reason for fear of heights. It holds
the moon to the Earth, the Earth to the sun. It keeps beer from floating out
of our glasses.
But how? Is the Earth sending secret messages to the moon?
Well, yes -- sort of.
Eanna Flanagan, Cornell associate professor of physics and astronomy, has
devoted his life to understanding gravity since he was a student at
University College Dublin in his native Ireland. Now, nearly two decades
after leaving Ireland to study for his doctorate under the famous relativist
Kip Thorne at the California Institute of Technology, his work focuses on
predicting the size and shape of gravitational waves -- an elusive
phenomenon forecast by Einstein's 1916 Theory of General Relativity but
which have never been directly detected.
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