Catch a Wave

Categories: Earth

ENCORE Let there be light. Otherwise we couldn’t watch a sunset or YouTube. Yet what your eye sees is but a narrow band in the electromagnetic spectrum. Shorten those light waves and you get invisible gamma radiation. Lengthen them and tune into a radio broadcast.

Discover what’s revealed about our universe as you travel along the electromagnetic spectrum. There’s the long of it: an ambitious goal to construct the world’s largest radio telescope array … and the short: a telescope that images high-energy gamma rays from black holes.

Also, the structure of the universe as seen through X-ray eyes and a physicist sings the praises of infrared light. Literally.

And, while gravity waves are not in the electromagnetic club, these ripples in spacetime could explain some of the biggest mysteries of the cosmos. But first, we have to catch them!


  • Anil Ananthaswamy – Journalist and consultant for New Scientist in London
  • Harvey Tananbaum – Director of the Chandra X-Ray Center, located in Cambridge Massachusetts at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
  • David Reitze – Executive director of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO), California Institute of Technology
  • Albert Lazzarini – Deputy director, LIGO, California Institute of Technology
  • Alan Marscher – Professor of astronomy at Boston University

Descripción en español

First released March 19, 2012