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Our unfolding understanding of the universe is marked by epic searches and we are now on the brink of discovering something that has escaped detection for many years.

The search for gravity waves has been a century long epic. They are a prediction of Einstein's General Theory of Relativity but for years physicists argued about their theoretical existence.

By 1957 physicists had proved that they must carry energy and cause vibrations. But it was also apparent that waves carrying a million times more energy than sunlight would make vibrations smaller than an atomic nucleus.

Building detectors seemed a daunting task but in the 1960s a maverick physicist Joseph Weber, at the University of Maryland, began to design the first detectors. By 1969 he claimed success!

There was excitement and consternation. How could such vast amounts of energy be reconciled with our understanding of stars and galaxies? A scientific gold rush began.

Within two years, ten new detectors had been built in major labs across the planet. But nothing was detected.

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