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How to Maintain America’s Edge

Increase Funding for Basic Science

The truth is out there: a simulation of black holes, released at a conference in February 2016 Simulating eXtreme Spacetimes

In February 2016, scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the California Institute of Technology, or Caltech, joined with the National Science Foundation (NSF) to share some remarkable news: two black holes 1.3 billion light-years away had collided, and the resulting gravitational waves had been “heard” by the twin detectors of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO). This was the first time such waves—ripples in the space-time continuum caused by the violent acceleration of massive objects—had ever been directly observed. Albert Einstein had predicted such waves a century ago, but it was long doubted that instrumentation sensitive enough to confirm their existence could ever be created. It took more than four decades of work by a vast team of scientists to make the impossible possible.

LIGO has revealed thrilling new insights into the cosmos—but it has given the world some gifts of immediate practical value as well,

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