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GRAVITATIONAL WAVES

conversations with hank

(front door opening)

Hank: Papa!

Molly: NE NE (PAPA!)!

Me: Hurray!

Pai: (bursting into the living room) It’s a BIG DAY!

Me: I know I have been waiting until you got home.

Hank: What is it?

Pai: Hank we need to pull up the web-browser on the X-box.

Hank: Okay. (reaching for the controller)

Molly: NE NE! (arms stretched to the ceiling)

Pai: Olá filha (hello daughter)! I love you! (picking her up)

Molly: (melting into a hug)

Hank: Alright, what now?

Pai: (commandeering the controller) Wait for it. (searching the web) One sec… Right. Hank, today is a very important day for science and for the universe, for us and for all people (deep breath). A hundred years ago a physicist named Albert Einstein predicted that space and time were dynamic meaning not fixed and that there were gravitational waves. Before it was merely an idea and today they confirmed that gravitational wave indeed exist. Here, lets watch this and then we can talk more.

Me: Amazing.

Pai: You get what this means, right?

Me: Yes. Absolutely… It means two black holes started kissing so intensely they created us.

Pai: That is not what it means.

Hank: (laughing)

Molly: (playing with her Sylvanian Family animals oblivious to Gravitational Waves)

Me: The love of two black holes was so intense that they shook up the universe?

Hank: (laughing)

Pai: It’s more like that Zen analogy with the rock and the pond and we’re apart of the ripples.

Hank: Is this something my grandpa Snitch cares about? It feels like something my grandpa Snitch should know.

Pai: Your Grandpa Bern really cares about this. When he was in college this theory was the hot theory to discover and only now, 50 years later, were we able to develop the technology advanced enough to detect…

Hank: THE BEEP.

Pai: That beep is the signal of detection of gravitational waves.

Me: It’s a good day to be named Hanford. Finally something not nuclear related to stamp our name on.

Hank: THAT’S RIGHT! One of those places that heard the beep is called Hanford. My Grandpa Snitch is named Hanford and me too! I am Hanford Pereira! (calm) Cool.

Me: Mega cool.

Pai: Lets watch this again.

Me: (whispering to Alfredo) Does this mean time travel?

Pai: This means everything.

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The LIGO research centers that heard the BEEP