HOUSE RESOLUTION NO. 2016-4668, by Representatives Haler, Griffey, Johnson, Kilduff, Fitzgibbon, Pollet, Ryu, Smith, and Dent
WHEREAS, The existence of gravitational waves has been detected for the first time, 100 years after Albert Einstein predicted their existence in 1916; and
WHEREAS, Two black holes collided to create the waves seen at two locations of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, one at Hanford in Washington State and the other in Louisiana; and
WHEREAS, Scientists believe that the two black holes in this event were about 29 and 36 times the mass of the sun, and that this collision converted three times the mass of the sun into gravitational waves within one second; and
WHEREAS, The peak power output of this event was about 50 times that of the combined power of all the stars in the visible universe; and
WHEREAS, Physical events in space, like the collision of black holes, the collapse of stars, or changes in the speed or direction of large objects create gravitational waves; and
WHEREAS, Being able to detect and measure gravitational waves will advance our knowledge of astronomy and physics and could cause a new understanding of time and space to be formed; and
WHEREAS, The National Science Foundation has been working toward the detection of gravitational waves for 40 years, spending about $1 billion to date; and
WHEREAS, Albert Einstein lacked the means to prove the existence of gravitational waves, or that a century would pass before modern science could demonstrate what he knew to be true;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the House of Representatives express its thanks and appreciation to the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory project directors and managers, and to the international team of scientists and technicians who conducted these experiments, for their dedication to scientific discovery; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the House of Representatives recognize the value of the advancement of our understanding of Einstein's general theory of relativity and of any practical applications for this knowledge that we do not yet realize; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That copies of this resolution be immediately transmitted by the Chief Clerk of the House of Representatives to the National Science Foundation, the California Institute of Technology, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the President of the United States.
I hereby certify this to be a true and correct copy of
Resolution 4668 adopted by the House of Representatives
February 29, 2016
Barbara Baker, Chief Clerk