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Author Topic: Gravity Waves  (Read 1073 times)
Maets
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« on: February 11, 2016, 12:11:28 am »

Have gravity waves finally been detected.  Much speculation that they have.  Read about it at
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2016/02/10/gravitational-wave-discovery-would-open-new-window-on-the-universe_n_9202720.html
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Atterton
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« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2016, 12:14:31 am »

You mean aetheric oscillations?
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« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2016, 08:50:48 am »

Have gravity waves finally been detected.  Much speculation that they have.  Read about it at
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2016/02/10/gravitational-wave-discovery-would-open-new-window-on-the-universe_n_9202720.html


We're a few hours away from the announcement so there is no definitive word, although we can guess

http://www.ligo.org/news/media-advisory.php
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Peter Brassbeard
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« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2016, 04:49:37 pm »

Seems unlikely they'd schedule a big press announcement unless they found something interesting.
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Maets
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« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2016, 06:16:11 pm »

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-LZpO58LDmow/Vrv7YAy514I/AAAAAAAAKMU/k9aMH3S4Y6w/s512-Ic42/IMG_20160209_120304.jpg

Detected!

Journey of a Gravity Wave
« Last Edit: February 11, 2016, 06:19:03 pm by Maets » Logged
James Harrison
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« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2016, 06:21:58 pm »

Yep, down the back of the sofa apparently. 

Five times I asked them if they'd looked down there, and five times they said yes and that they couldn't find them.  Yet the first time I look down there what do I find?  Gravitational waves...
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« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2016, 07:46:13 pm »

http://www.ligo.org/news.php

Quote
GRAVITATIONAL WAVES DETECTED 100 YEARS AFTER EINSTEIN'S GENERAL RELATIVITY
11 February 2016 -- For the first time, scientists have observed ripples in the fabric of spacetime called gravitational waves, arriving at the earth from a cataclysmic event in the distant universe. This confirms a major prediction of Albert Einstein's 1915 general theory of relativity and opens an unprecedented new window onto the cosmos.

Gravitational waves carry information about their dramatic origins and about the nature of gravity that cannot otherwise be obtained. Physicists have concluded that the detected gravitational waves were produced during the final fraction of a second of the merger of two black holes to produce a single, more massive spinning black hole. This collision of two black holes had been predicted but never observed.

The gravitational waves were detected on September 14, 2015 at 5:51 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time (9:51 a.m. UTC) by both of the twin Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) detectors, located in Livingston, Louisiana, and Hanford, Washington, USA. The LIGO Observatories are funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), and were conceived, built, and are operated by Caltech and MIT. The discovery, accepted for publication in the journal Physical Review Letters, was made by the LIGO Scientific Collaboration (which includes the GEO600 Collaboration and the Australian Consortium for Interferometric Gravitational Astronomy) and the Virgo Collaboration using data from the two LIGO detectors.
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« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2016, 01:30:48 am »

It looks like we are going to have a new type of telescopes able to look further back in time,  when the particles of the universe were so close that light could not travel (and hence radio and light telescopes can't see that far back in time).  Exiting times for physicists and astronomers.

It's also another feather in Einstein's hat.


What gravity waves are:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gravitational_wave


The significance of the new discovery in simple language (BBC News)

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-35524440


Quote
That view was reinforced by Prof Stephen Hawking, who is an expert on black holes. Speaking exclusively to BBC News, he said he believed that the detection marked a key moment in scientific history.

"Gravitational waves provide a completely new way at looking at the Universe. The ability to detect them has the potential to revolutionise astronomy. This discovery is the first detection of a black hole binary system and the first observation of black holes merging," he said.
Media captionFive reasons why gravitational waves matter

"Apart from testing (Albert Einstein's theory of) General Relativity, we could hope to see black holes through the history of the Universe. We may even see relics of the very early Universe during the Big Bang at some of the most extreme energies possible."

Team member Prof Gabriela González, from Louisiana State University, said: "We have discovered gravitational waves from the merger of black holes. It's been a very long road, but this is just the beginning.

"Now that we have the detectors to see these systems, now that we know binary black holes are out there - we'll begin listening to the Universe. "

The LIGO laser interferometers in Hanford, in Washington, and Livingston, in Louisiana, were only recently refurbished and had just come back online when they sensed the signal from the collision. This occurred at 10.51 GMT on 14 September last year.

On a graph, the data looks like a symmetrical, wiggly line that gradually increases in height and then suddenly fades away.

"We found a beautiful signature of the merger of two black holes and it agrees exactly - fantastically - with the numerical solutions to Einstein equations... it looked too beautiful to be true," said Prof Danzmann.
Media captionProf Stephen Hawking: "This provides a completely new way of looking at the universe."

Prof Sheila Rowan, who is one of the lead UK researchers involved in the project, said that the first detection of gravitational waves was just the start of a "terrifically exciting" journey.

"The fact that we are sitting here on Earth feeling the actual fabric of the Universe stretch and compress slightly due to the merger of black holes that occurred just over a billion years ago - I think that's phenomenal. It's amazing that when we first turned on our detectors, the Universe was ready and waiting to say 'hello'," the Glasgow University scientist told the BBC.

Being able to detect gravitational waves enables astronomers finally to probe what they call "dark" Universe - the majority part of the cosmos that is invisible to the light telescopes in use today.
Perfect probe

Not only will they be able to investigate black holes and strange objects known as neutron stars (giant suns that have collapsed to the size of cities), they should also be able to "look" much deeper into the Universe - and thus farther back in time. It may even be possible eventually to sense the moment of the Big Bang.

"Gravitational waves go through everything. They are hardly affected by what they pass through, and that means that they are perfect messengers," said Prof Bernard Schutz, from Cardiff University, UK.

"The information carried on the gravitational wave is exactly the same as when the system sent it out; and that is unusual in astronomy. We can't see light from whole regions of our own galaxy because of the dust that is in the way, and we can't see the early part of the Big Bang because the Universe was opaque to light earlier than a certain time.
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« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2016, 06:17:46 am »

Good, interesting star-stuff. Happily, the astronomy and physics courses in 2010 mean that I can at least understand what is going on with this story!
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Maets
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« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2016, 08:02:54 am »

And this is a pretty big deal!
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Banfili
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« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2016, 09:56:15 am »

Absolutely!
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