(Washington, DC) – Yesterday, David Reitze, executive director of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO), publicly announced that gravitational waves have successfully been detected. Scientists, up until this point, could only use electromagnetic waves, including visible light, to probe the wonders of the universe.

Ranking Member Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) offered the following statement on the announcement:

“I am delighted to congratulate all of the scientists, engineers, students, and technicians who worked at LIGO on their commendable job with this groundbreaking discovery. Their vision, imagination, and determination resulted in one of the biggest scientific breakthroughs of this century, and they should be proud. I look forward to hearing what more can be gained from further study of gravitational waves. This achievement is a reminder of the great work being done by researchers funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). As I have my entire career in Congress, I will continue to support and, when necessary, fight for the critical basic research mission of the NSF.”