Gravitational Waves Crash Journal Website

February 12, 2016

Physical Review Letters experienced one of its best web traffic days ever on Thursday as the scholarly journal released scientists' findings documenting the existence of gravitational waves, ripples in space-time first predicted by Albert Einstein.

"We are about to publish a significant landmark in the history of physics," the journal tweeted shortly before the official announcement Thursday morning. "Take some time to read the paper. It is beautiful."

Shortly thereafter, however, too many people -- about 10,000 a minute -- decided to do so. The website crashed and remained inaccessible for much of the morning. As the journal, a publication of the American Physical Society, scrambled to add more server capacity, it tweeted out the article's abstract and several figures to sate readers' appetites. The website came back online by noon.

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