Missing vibration, sometimes ...

Joined: 9 Feb 05
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Topic 198628

Yesterday was a big event for Switzerland and Europe. The longest tunnel in the world at the base of the Gotthard-Massif of the Swiss Alps was finally opened, the heart of a European thoroughfare, as it was called. The foundation for this was laid seventy years ago with the idea of an Alpine crossing for people and goods. Today the centerpiece of a European north-south link was inaugurated. We all hope that this monumental building will be a significant contribution to the growing together and prosperity of Europe.

A hundred years ago it was Albert Einstein, who with his ingenious idea of a space-time laid the foundation for the theory of relativity. One consequence of this is the existence of gravitational waves. Even if Einstein himself did not believe that this extremely weak ripple of spacetime could be on record, scientists had the vision of feasibility by means of a gigantic instrument and a future technology. The enormous power of scientists and engineers was rewarded this year with the first detection of gravitational waves.

For me the two projects have comparable aspects - led enthusiasm, ingenuity and perseverance to succeed.

Laura and I, we been involved now around for more than ten years with perseverance, time and money in the computer-aided analysis of measured data of the "ears listening to space", without that we have personally ever seen a concrete result. Sometimes we wonder if that still makes sense especially because of we are not directly involved in the project. It feels as if you followed a great concert in the distance on TV.

In such a moment of doubt it needs a stimulus from the outside in order to revive the vision and to fan the enthusiasm. The possibility of monitoring the inauguration of the longest tunnel in the world built in our small country has helped to draw attention from the pettiness towards the vision again. What remains is a certain disappointment that such an "agitating vibration" does not come from the scientific team.


I know I am a part of a story that starts long before I can remember and continues long beyond when anyone will remember me [Danny Hillis, Long Now]