The media around the world are discussing the detection of Einstein's gravitational waves. Alexey Golovnev, Assistant Professor of St. Petersburg State University (Department of High Energy Physics and Elementary Particles), comments on the significance of this event for the world of science: 

Aleksey Golovnev, Associate Professor at SPbU: "Our Theoretical Concepts about the Universe Are Confirmed"

The media around the world are discussing the detection of Einstein's gravitational waves. Alexey Golovnev, Assistant Professor of St. Petersburg State University (Department of High Energy Physics and Elementary Particles), comments on the significance of this event for the world of science: 

"We are witnessing an event that literally marks the beginning of a new scientific epoch for everyone who has been studying gravitational interaction. We have received the news of the direct experimental detection of gravitational waves. The significance of this result to the scientific community can be judged at least by the persistence with which physicists have been trying to achieve it for decades, despite all the setbacks, while gradually heading towards the desired equipment sensitivity. Suffice it to say that Joseph Weber began his pioneering research between 1950s and 1960s. His own statements about the detection of gravitational waves have not been confirmed; however, they have drawn attention to this problem and eventually gave rise to such projects as LIGO, which have led scientists to this success, announced at last.

Gravitational waves follow Einstein's general theory of relativity as well as virtually all of its generalizations and extensions used today to describe gravitational interaction. As a generalization of the special theory of relativity, general relativity does not allow for instantaneous action at a distance, and therefore predicts that the movement of matter in one region of space causes the spread of a wave, a distortion of space and time, which, over time, can reach another material system, such as a gravitational antenna located in a different region of space, and have an impact on it. It's like a stone thrown into the water, which makes a float bob only after a while; the time it takes for the surface wave propagation from one point to another. It was this bobbing "float" that was discovered in September 2015, and the stone thrown into the water turned out to be two merging black holes. This process led to the release of enormous amounts of energy in the form of gravitational waves. Thus, our theoretical concepts about the Universe have been confirmed. Gravitational waves are a critical element in the modern vision of the physical reality, and they play an important role in the description of many physical systems, from binary pulsars which lose energy in the form of gravitational wave radiation, to the cosmology of the early universe, as quantum fluctuations during inflation resulted, among other things, in the appearance of gravitational waves. In addition, this opens up a whole new window of opportunity for astronomical and cosmological studies. For example, the spectrum of gravitational waves emitted by two merging black holes can be used to compare the gravitation theory with observations outside of the area where Einstein's theory has already been so thoroughly studied in the course of various experiments. Thanks to the announced discovery of gravitational waves, a strict limit has already been set for the biggest possible mass of the graviton, which may partly serve as confirmation of the theory of relativity, in which the graviton is massless."