Since 1983 I have been involved in the search for gravitational waves. These waves were a prediction of Albert Einstein in 1916, although he quickly noted that they would be so small and weak that it would be impossible to observe them. It took us a century to detect them directly.
Up until our first detection in 2015 all of us gravitational wave researchers were considered as nice enough, but probably a bit crazy to go after this apparently impossible task. The physics world has changed a lot in the last five years, and in 2019 we made an incredible discovery.
A simple way to understand our work with gravitational waves is this: with gravity, if you accelerate a mass it will produce gravitational waves. Gravitational waves actually cause space to be stretched and contracted, and we try to measure that stretching of space with L shaped devices, called laser