By Kavin Carter, ’19 and Lauren Otto, ’16
We have now heard the universe! On Feb. 25 students gathered at President Jim Belcher’s house to listen to a presentation entitled “Gravitational Waves” by Dr. Arnold Sikkema. The discovery of these waves means that scientists can not only “see” the vast expanse of the universe, they can now also “feel” it, which gives them a new way to understand God’s creation. Students also had a chance to exercise their love of learning through a Q and A session with Dr. Sikkema.
Dr. Sikkema serves on the Providence board of trustees and is a Professor of Physics and Chair of Mathematical Sciences at Trinity Western University in Langley, British Columbia, Canada. He considers gravitational waves to be one of the most significant and amazing discoveries of our time. He showed students a press conference video of overjoyed scientists. Within the last year, scientists have discovered gravitational waves, a result of two black holes colliding together billions of years ago.
In 1916, Albert Einstein predicted that such events were possible in his theory of general relativity and almost one hundred years later his prediction has been proven to be correct. The most amazing part, though, is that scientists recorded the sound of two black holes smashing into each other. The result is a small short sound that resembles a beep.
“This universe is amazing and the more we learn about it the more I am in awe of God,” said freshmen Brennan Kiledjian, when asked about what he thought of the presentation. Providence students have regular opportunities to gather at the President’s home and hear from guest speakers in small seminar-style discussions on a variety of topics.