Close Black Holes and Second Life

Josh, Addie and Tracy look ahead to the violent merger of supermassive black holes, the kind of event that would send out a large ripple of gravitational waves. These waves in space-time are a consequence of Einstein’s theory of gravity known as General Relativity, but measuring tiny ripples in the shape of space-time turns out, oddly enough, to be a bit tricky. Who’d a’ thunk it? Maybe it’s something that can be seen in Second Life, a virtual world where Josh is setting up virtual office hours for his physics students. Now if only he can figure out how to give his avatar a nice head of hair.
Video visualization of the black hole merger from Space.com
A news story about the black hole observations.

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