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Gloucester High School graduate part of groundbreaking study of gravitational waves

Gloucester High School graduate Hunter Rew might have been an unexceptional high school student, but as a senior studying physics at the College of William and Mary, he already has his name on a major research paper, and he’ll graduate in May with honors.

For the past six months, Rew has been working on a project for LIGO, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory. The observatory made a breakthrough discovery last September when it recorded the first gravitational wave ever to be detected. The discovery was just announced last month, and it is important because it confirms Albert Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. Einstein predicted the existence of gravitational waves, said Rew, but because they’re so small, he thought it would be impossible to detect them.

Rew said that Einstein’s theory holds that gravity itself is the result of the bending of some fabric—the fabric of space itself—much as a bowling ball (a planet) placed in the cen...

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