Gravitational Waves

posted Jul 22, 2018, 10:28 AM by Viktor Zólyomi   [ updated Jul 22, 2018, 10:28 AM ]
The scientific community has been abuzz since the detection of gravitational waves, which are viewed as a milestone discovery and a practical confirmation of relativity theory. A research group at the University of Con City has kindly produced a popular science paper in which they explain, in simple terms, what gravitational waves are, and why they are important.

`Most people are aware by now that there is a connection between Einstein's theories and gravitational waves,' says Professor van der Bishop, head of the research group that penned the paper. `However, they are not aware of what that connection is, and many of them fear that they would get lost in the differential equations and multi-dimensional physics if they were to try to delve into it. Which is a shame, because gravitational waves are much simpler than people think. In layman's terms, they're created by the blinking of crows.'

While the idea that blinking birds are responsible for the creation of gravitational waves may sound baffling at first, the Professor points to little known facts that lend credibility to his statements.

`Most of the effects of relativity are linked to black holes,' he says. `Gravitational waves are no exception. Some believe that the black holes at the centers of galaxies give rise to such waves, and that is why they are so difficult to detect. In reality, this is a misconception. Yes, such black holes do create gravitational waves, but they are too far away from Earth. The ones detected here recently were in fact caused by different black holes, much closer to home: the eyes of crows.'

In cosmology, a black hole is an object so heavy that it attracts all light into itself and does not allow it to escape. In science fiction films, they are often depicted as instruments of destruction on a colossal scale. According to Professor van der Bishop, miniature black holes also exist, and can be found in places where no one thought to look.

`It's baffling, really, that Einstein never realized that the eyes of crows were black holes,' the Professor states. `Biologists and ornithologists have of course long known that the eyes of crows were extremely dark, and if Einstein had collaborated with an ornithologist, he might have realized that crows' eyes are so black that no light can escape them at all. How the birds are capable of housing the tiny black holes in their eye sockets is still a matter of debate in the scientific community. I have a research grant myself that is dedicated to the research of this very topic. Nevertheless the observation remains: the eyes of crows are miniature black holes, and it is these black holes that produce the gravitational waves that can be detected on Earth.'

As for the mechanism by which gravitational waves are created, the Professor provides a crystal clear explanation.

`Sometimes, a pair of crows will stare into each other's eyes for a prolonged amount of time, at which point the black holes start to attract each other with an overwhelming force,' Professor van der Bishop explains. `When the crows blink, their eyelids disrupt the interaction between the black holes. Since they blink once every couple of minutes, they create a slow waveform that bounces back and forth between the eyes of the two birds, and when one of them finally decides to fly away, the waveform is released, forming a gravitational wave.'

Gravitational waves are unfortunately not the only byproduct of the black holes inside the eye sockets of crows. Black holes are inherently heavy objects that produce a very strong gravitational field, which can lead to serious problems if a large number of them gather together.

`We don't call a murder of crows a murder of crows for nothing,' the Professor warns. `When a flock of them gathers in a small area, the combined effect of the heavy gravitational force in all those tiny black holes adds up to a force so destructive it rivals tidal waves. Thirty crows can topple a skyscraper just by flying around the building. It's a serious threat to our everyday lives, and it is imperative that we build suitable defenses against it.'

The `suitable defenses' the Professor speaks of are, as some readers may guess, scarecrows.

`Scarecrows have been used by farmers since time immemorial to protect their crops,' Professor van der Bishop says. `What we must understand is that we need to have scarecrows in urban environments as well. While we don't need one on every corner, we should certainly install scarecrows wherever crows are likely to occur in large numbers. I propose we put a scarecrow into every public park and atop every building, especially skyscrapers. Quite frankly, if we don't want to risk buildings crumbling to dust every time a squadron of crows flies past, scarecrows should be as abundant as lightning rods.'

If you would like to know more about gravitational waves and scarecrows, request a reprint of the Professor's new popular science article, `Why the miniature black holes in the eyes of crows create gravitational waves and pose a threat to urban environments,' from the Department of Bullshitology - where Professor van der Bishop serves as Head of Department - at the University of Con City.