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Foster On Discovery Of Gravitational Waves: “Now The Fun Begins”

Feb 24, 2016
Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, Congressman Bill Foster (IL-11) spoke at a hearing of the Science, Space, and Technology Committee titled Unlocking the Secrets of the Universe: Gravitational Waves. The hearing was held to discuss the first observation of gravitational waves, a historic breakthrough that was recently announced by a team of physicists working with the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO). Predicted by Albert Einstein a century ago, gravitational waves are ripples in the fabric of space-time.

Foster, who was a high-energy physicist for over 20 years, is the only Ph.D. scientist in Congress.

Video of Foster’s speech is available here.

Text of Foster’s remarks is below:

Thank you Chairman Smith and Ranking Member Johnson, and thank you to the witnesses for coming here to talk about this very exciting discovery.

As the only Ph.D. scientist in Congress I am probably more excited than most others who come to hear about this today.

A century after Einstein theorized the existence of gravitational waves; fifty years after Rai Weiss began thinking of an interferometric gravitational wave detector as part of a class exercise at MIT; forty years after the spin-down of orbiting neutron stars started giving the first hints that gravitational waves were being emitted from astrophysical sources; twenty-five years after the National Science Foundation began courageous and sustained funding for an international collaboration of hundreds of scientists to begin constructing this large and technically risky project, physicists have spectacularly confirmed Einstein’s theory.

This is a discovery that will live on in the science textbooks forever. And with this discovery, we have opened a new window into the universe, we have verified that our new telescope is working, and now the fun begins.

Thank you and I yield back.