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Eleven year cosmic search leads to black hole rethink

One hundred years since Einstein proposed gravitational waves as part of his general theory of relativity, an 11-year search performed with the Parkes telescope has shown that an expected background of waves is missing, casting doubt on our understanding of galaxies and black holes.

For scientists gravitational waves exert a powerful appeal, as it is believed they carry information allowing us to look back into the very beginnings of the Universe. Although there is strong circumstantial evidence for their existence, they have not yet been directly detected.

The work, led by Dr Ryan Shannon (of CSIRO and ICRAR), was published in the journal Science.

Using Parkes, the scientists expected to detect a background rumble of the waves, coming from the merging galaxies throughout the Universe, but they were not there.

The world-first research has caused scientists to think about the Universe in a different way.

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Added by Flornes Yuen on 2015-12-22

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