Einstein’s Extraordinary Universe

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Some of the most extraordinary discoveries in Science are explained by the work of one man— Albert Einstein. Even after 100 years of announcing his Theory of Gravity / General Relativity, Science continues to be moved by it.

This film seeks to explore the extraordinary universe that Einstein believed in. The journey begins in Italy to visit two remarkable three-kilometer long rooms that house one of the biggest underground labs in the world and the second largest vacuum. Then it’s on to an underground tunnel in Switzerland where the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) can be found.  This is the world’s most powerful particle accelerator.

Before Galileo Galilei, it was thought that, when dropped, a heavier object would fall faster than a lighter object. By dropping different white balls from the top of a tower, Galileo demonstrated that they all hit the ground at exactly the same time. This was proven further many years later when an astronaut on the surface of the moon dropped a feather and a hammer and they both hit the ground at the same time. Of course, there was no air resistance on the moon.

For years physicists have continued to work on Einstein’s predictions regarding gravitational waves. His suggestion meant that there had to be a ripple in nothingness— a ripple in space and time. According to Einstein gravity was not really a force, but more of an illusion. Einstein’s breakthrough was to treat space and time as actual things. Hence, gravitational waves were just ripples in space-time.

Different astronomical objects give off different patterns of gravitational waves and other objects emit gravitational waves too. The hope is to be able to pick up the gravitational waves from the Big Bang itself because they believe that the gravitational waves from when the universe was just a second old are probably still around us today. Detecting them would be a confirmation of Einstein’s extraordinary universe.

In Switzerland, physicists are studying the Big Bang by creating mini Big Bangs. To accomplish this, they are using the LHC— the biggest machine in the world. Inside it subatomic particles rush around colliding at almost the speed of light. When the protons smash into each other it’s like creating little Big Bangs and this might lead to a new understanding of gravity, even beyond Einstein.

Find out more about these amazing discoveries, including the existence of dark matter, now.