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Your Science Textbook Needs an Update


If you bought a physics or astronomy textbook in 2016, it already needs to be updated.

According to the rumor mill (and physicist Lawrence M. Krauss) another piece of Einstein's theory of relativity might have just been proven: gravitational waves.


Edit: Gravitational Waves have been detected, which means your science textbook will definitely need to be updated.


So... what are gravitational waves?

Gravitational waves are predicted by Einstein's theory of relativity. When high-mass objects like black holes orbit each other super quickly, there should be little wibble-wobbles in the fabric of space-time.

Here's a good visualization of that in action.

In very tiny amounts, gravitational waves alter both time and the shape of space, according to the theory of relativity, just like the fabric vibrates slightly as the marble orbits the cube.

Until recently, gravitational waves existed only in theory, but scientists at the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) are expected to release their concrete findings soon.

The discovery of gravitational waves will have massive consequences in the scientific community, which likely means your favorite physics and astronomy textbooks are going to be in need of an update.

Fortunately for students, it can take a while for a scientific discovery like this to earn a place in a textbook. Still, though, it might be worth trying to sell your textbook before it goes out of date.

If you want to avoid worrying about textbook updates (whether they be scientific or otherwise) try a rental next time!