Watch CBS News

The Minnesota Connection To Gravitational Waves Discovery

BURNSVILLE, Minn. (AP/WCCO) -- A Minnesota supercomputing company has a role in the research that's being heralded as one of the biggest discoveries in the history of physics -- the sound of gravitational waves.

When scientists captured the sound of two black holes colliding in space, they did it with a system of supercomputers designed and built by Nor-Tech of Burnsville.

The Star Tribune says the company has been working with the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and California State University, Fullerton for a decade on the cluster that made the detection of the gravitational waves possible.

The news announced by scientists Thursday exhilarated astronomers and physicists who will now be able to hear the soundtrack of the universe and listen as violent collisions reshape the cosmos. It confirms a theory that Albert Einstein predicted a century ago.

On Thursday, WCCO's Mike Augustyniak talked with University of Minnesota professor Vuk Mandic, who was on the team that analyzed LIGO data and answered viewer questions in the video above.

Mandic said that the black hole event that was captured happened 1.3 billion years ago.

"Or, to put it in different words, the event happened 1.3 billion light years away from us, so very very far away," he said.

Mandic said that the discovery ranks "among the highest achievements (in the history) of science."

(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.