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A global scientific collaboration, including scientists from across Australia, has proven the existence of gravitational waves for the first time, 100 years after their existence was predicted by Albert Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity.

The confirmed observation of a gravitational wave, ripples in space caused by the collision of two black holes, is a major discovery and opens up new fields in physics and astrophysics. It will give scientists a new way to study the universe, black holes, dark matter and gravity.

More than 1,000 scientists around the world have been involved in the research, including a collaboration of Australian universities through the Australian Consortium for Interferometric Gravitational Astronomy (ACIGA), led by Professor David McClelland from The Australian National University (ANU).