Einstein predicted gravity waves in his general theory of relativity, but to date these ripples in the fabric of space-time have never been observed. Now a scientific research technique called Atomic Interferometry is trying to re-write the canon. In conjunction with researchers at Stanford University, scientists at NASA Goddard are developing a system to measure the faint gravitational vibrations generated by movement of massive objects in the universe. The scientific payoff could be important, helping better clarify key issues in our understanding of cosmology. But application payoff could be substantial, too, with the potential to develop profound advances in fields like geolocation and timekeeping. In this video we examine how the system would work, and the scientific underpinnings of the research effort.
Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center