Researchers at MIT have obtained further proof of Einstein’s theory of general relativity by examining gravitational waves emitted by two black holes colliding and forming a new one.
According to the MIT news office, by studying the "ringing" emitted by the newly-formed black hole, physicists at the institute discovered that "the pattern of this ringing does, in fact, predict the black hole’s mass and spin", as Einstein predicted.
"We all expect general relativity to be correct, but this is the first time we have confirmed it in this way", Maximiliano Isi, of MIT's Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research, said.
The researcher’s findings, published in Physical Review Letters, appear to confirm the so called no-hair theorem which postulates that black holes can only be characterized by mass and spin.
"This is the first experimental measurement that succeeds in directly testing the no-hair theorem. It doesn’t mean black holes couldn’t have hair. It means the picture of black holes with no hair lives for one more day", Kavli remarked.
The black hole collision in question, designated as GW150914, was detected by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO), becoming the first such event to be confirmed.