The Plus advent calendar door #14: Gravitational waves reveal cosmic hum

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Behind today's door is some huge news from the world of cosmology: in June scientists reported detecting a low frequency hum of gravitational waves for the first time. The new results were published by the North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves, NANOGrav for short. The NANOGrav team were not alone — they coordinated with collaborations in Europe, India, Australia, and China, which released similar findings at the same time.

In this podcast we found out what these results mean, and why they're so exciting, with Michalis Agathos, Amelia Drew, and Ulrich Sperhake of the Stephen Hawking Centre for Theoretical Cosmology at the University of Cambridge. Join us on this fascinating, and slightly mind-bending, cosmic ride!

To find out more about the topics discussed in this podcast see:

You might also want to listen to our podcast from door #11 about a new map of dark matter.

The illustration above is an artist's rendering of black hole binaries emitting gravitational waves, produced by Olena Shmahalo for NANOGrav and reproduced here under CC BY 4.0.

You can listen to the podcast using the player above, and you can subscribe to our podcast through Apple Podcasts, Spotify and through most other podcast providers via podbean.

Return to the Plus advent calendar 2023.