Gravitational Waves

Discussion in 'science, nature and environment' started by 2hats, Jan 12, 2016.

  1. 2hats

    2hats

    Lawrence Krauss is claiming that gravitational waves, predicted by general relativity but not yet observed, may have been detected by the LIGO team...

    The official LIGO comment is that they 'are analysing data and will share news when ready'.
     
  2. NoXion

    NoXion Keep an eye out for diamonds

    Apart from being another confirmation of general relativity, what are the implications if gravitational waves turn out to exist?
     
  3. fishfinger

    fishfinger تپلی

    Space surfing!
     
  4. Limejuice

    Limejuice Well-Known Member

    HOVERBOARDS!!!!

    Well, real ones.

    :)
     
    S☼I likes this.
  5. Fez909

    Fez909 toilet expert

    proof!

     
    Greebo likes this.
  6. 2hats

    2hats

    Theoretically they can be used to investigate events in the universe that we can't already observe more readily. Very high energy events, in particular where extremes of gravity are experienced (such as super massive black holes at galactic centres).

    They will also allow us to probe even further back towards the big bang than current observational techniques using electromagnetic (EM) waves permit. The early universe was opaque to EM radiation until recombination (when it was a couple of hundred thousand years old) - the cosmic microwave background we see is a snapshot of the universe at that time*.

    Ultimately the idea is that gravitational waves will point the way towards a better understanding of the very early universe and thus new theories of quantum gravitation and force unification.

    * At recombination the soup of electrons and protons of the early universe got together and formed neutral hydrogen. At that point photons could then travel great distances bringing information about their last interaction to the observer (up until that moment in time they were just constantly being scattered in the dense sea of charged particles which were left over from an earlier stage of formation of the universe).
     
  7. 2hats

    2hats

    Gravity wave effects can sometimes be seen in clouds but those waves should not be confused with gravitational waves. The former arise due to the effect of gravity on fluids of differing densities (in the sea and atmosphere and between the two).
     
    Greebo and Fez909 like this.
  8. bi0boy

    bi0boy Power User

    So we can convert them into audio waves? I bet the unvierse sounds like drum and bass.

    Actually it will probably sound quite random and yurt-eating hippies will use Grav Wave CDs as background music for their chakra cleansing sessions.
     
    Greebo likes this.
  9. Fez909

    Fez909 toilet expert

    fucking science ruining my joke :mad: :)
     
    Greebo, Sea Star, aqua and 1 other person like this.
  10. 2hats

    2hats

  11. 2hats

    2hats

    Just to follow up - apparently whether it is just a standard test(*) injected into the data to keep the research team on their toes and make sure they are processing it correctly, or whether it is truly astrophysical in origin will not be revealed until they have analysed the data, written a paper and are on the verge of publishing it (at which point the test team will admit whether it was them, or not - that's the procedure). Though Krauss has been adamant that this is not a test.

    * Such 'tests' have been conducted twice before in the course of this particular experiment.
     
  12. alsoknownas

    alsoknownas some bloke

    Wow, that sounds a bit cruel. I can imagine that practice carried over into other workplaces wouldn't go down too well :D.
     
  13. eoin_k

    eoin_k Lawyer's fees, beetroot and music

    Newton had colleagues hiding in a tree throw apples at him on six separate occasions before one actually fell on him. (I know it's apocryphal, and it wouldn't even have been an experiment if it had happened.)
     
  14. NoXion

    NoXion Keep an eye out for diamonds

    Only three fingers and a thumb? There's only one conclusion:

    God is Homer Simpson.
     
  15. 2hats

    2hats

    Latest news is that a press conference will be held Thursday by the LIGO team. The word is that there is a clear and unambiguous signal.
     
    NoXion and Signal 11 like this.
  16. 2hats

    2hats

    Press conference due to start in Washington DC at 1530GMT today. The NSF will stream it live here.
     
  17. editor

    editor hiraethified

    Wonderfully explained here:



    [​IMG]
     
    bimble likes this.
  18. 2hats

    2hats

    LIGO Generations is a short NSF funded film providing a lot of background to the project and the history of the search for gravitational waves:
     
  19. 2hats

    2hats

    Officially confirmed - gravitational waves have been observed by LIGO (5.1σ). Produced by two colliding black holes, as predicted by general relativity.

    DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.116.061102
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2016
  20. Crispy

    Crispy The following psytrance is baṉned: All

    Amazing achievement - these experiments are very *very* hard to do. Einstein's work continues to hold up incredibly well :cool:
     
    editor likes this.
  21. Ax^

    Ax^ Silly Rabbit

    <insert your momma joke here>
     
    spitfire likes this.
  22. danny la rouge

    danny la rouge Without music, life would be a mistake.

  23. BandWagon

    BandWagon Life's a bitch and then you die...

    Brilliant work, very very difficult to do.
     
  24. 2hats

    2hats

    Indeed, Rainer Weiss (MIT) has been explaining just a few of the engineering challenges in dealing with the noise environment in order to measure at 10^-21. Not just local geological, man made vibrations. Not just thermal noise. But quantum noise too. The measurement they have made is equivalent to measuring the distance from the Earth to the nearest star within an accuracy of the width of a human hair.

    This black hole collision was observed on September 14th last year, but it occurred about 1.3 billion years ago. The event was brief but for a moment equivalent to fifty times the power output of the entire observable universe.
     
    Graymalkin and editor like this.
  25. Supine

    Supine Rough Like Badger

    Scientists can now detect your momma having sex
     
    Ax^ likes this.
  26. aqua

    aqua made of cheese and gin

    *brain melts*
     
  27. Mumbles274

    Mumbles274 running from law and the press and the parents

    Spent the morning listening to the infinite monkey cage specials on GR... As has been said, Einstein still knocking them in the back of the net :)

    Too work and top news
     
  28. stdP

    stdP I never learn.

    You win again, gravity!

    Today's APOD reserved a placeholder for the announcement. Also this if someone's not posted it already.

    <raises a glass to the LIGO crew>
     
  29. Mumbles274

    Mumbles274 running from law and the press and the parents

    2hats thanks for your science posts across the boards, I really appreciate you knowledge and time spent with them all
     
    bluescreen, de_dog, Numbers and 13 others like this.
  30. HAL9000

    HAL9000 Lasting Damage

    2hats

    When do you think gravity particles will be detected rather than waves?
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2016

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