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[NASA]NSF’s LIGO Has Detected Gravitational Waves - Page 2

post #11 of 24
Shouldn't they be seeing more waves corresponding to (half) the rotational period of binary black hole systems? It's only been a few months but I was under the impression that some of these systems were orbiting on that period if not faster.
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post #12 of 24
You need to stop taking references literally. Making a G wave is more than a stone making a pond ripple. And then only super powerful natural phenomena make them strong enough to currently detect detect - like neutron star or black hole collisions.

The key here is that two different sites separated by few thousand miles detected the same wave patterns at the same time only shifted around the time it takes light (g-waves too) to travel that distance (depending on the origin of the wave, the time will vary some - even arriving at the same time if the origin just happens to be smack dab in the middle of both observation sites - which is extremely unlikely).

The two lasers use destructive interference - like balanced audio cables - and a lot of advanced vibration dampening, etc. to cancel out a lot of noise.
Edited by umeng2002 - 2/11/16 at 8:06pm
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post #13 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by GnarlyCharlie View Post

My ex must be in town.

That must be what they were detecting. That and your mom. wink.gif
post #14 of 24
Collision between the ex and the in-law.
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post #15 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Insan1tyOne View Post

Someone do an ELI5 of why this is important other than Einstein is still getting proven correct all these years later?

- Insan1tyOne biggrin.gif

It's a completely new window for looking at the universe and understanding it. At the moment, we are limited to just the electro-magnetism waves (visible light, radio waves, x-rays, gamma rays etc. etc.).

This can be problematic when trying to look at a black hole for instance. In time with a refined enough gravitational wave telescope, we will actually be able to see black holes. With a good detector, we should be able to spot many, many black holes we didn't even know existed. Also currently all we can do atm, is see as far back as the Microwave background 380,000 years after the big bang give or take. With gravity waves we will be able to look past that, all the way to the beginning and actually see the big bang occur eventually.

Literally all of our scientific knowledge is based on data collection based on Maxwells equations. With this (and time and a lot of money, not any time in the near future, but 50+ years down the road) we will be able to look at everything from the perspective of gravitational waves as well, which will most likely lead to a vast number of doors being unlocked for new, undiscovered, and previously unknown aspects of the universe and fundamental physics.

It has a very real chance of being the building blocks of another technological explosion and a much better understanding of our universe. For all intent and purpose, we now have a second set of Maxwells equations, which were the basis for the birth of relativity and quantum mechanics.

This is a far more important discovery than that of the Higg's Boson. Easily the biggest scientific discovery of the last 20 years at least.
post #16 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Creator View Post

Shouldn't they be seeing more waves corresponding to (half) the rotational period of binary black hole systems? It's only been a few months but I was under the impression that some of these systems were orbiting on that period if not faster.

They are orbiting up to 1000 times per second and the entire event is only minutes long. These are from the actual merge event, very rare and extremely energetic.
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post #17 of 24
More explanation from Tyson. OMG...that is all.
post #18 of 24
The confirmation of theory is pretty cool but I'm more fascinated by two massive black holes colliding. Supposedly circling each other 250 times a second before colliding, creating a storm of energy I can't even begin to comprehend. Is that not insane?
post #19 of 24
I read they were able to detect two 90km black holes from 1.3 billion light years away. A light year is about 9.5 trillion km. So that would be a distance of 12.35 sextillion km. Neptune (our solar system's last planet) is at most 4.5 billion km from Earth. Do some math and it's roughly equivalent to detecting a single specific transistor on a CPU that is located on Neptune. The center of Earth is around 6500km from the surface. Some more math and it's equivalent of detecting a single specific hydrogen atom at the center of the Earth.

More math cause I'm bored. You could detect a single strand of hair if it was near the closest star Proxima Centauri (around 4.24 light years away).
Edited by kennyparker1337 - 2/12/16 at 8:27am
post #20 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by kennyparker1337 View Post

I read they were able to detect two 90km black holes from 100 billion light years away. A light year is about 9.5 trillion km. So that would be a distance of 950 sextillion km. Pluto is at most is 7.5 billion km from Earth. Do some math and it's roughly equivalent to detecting a single specific transistor on a CPU that is located on Pluto. The center of Earth is around 6500km from the surface. Some more math and it's equivalent of detecting a single specific proton / neutron at the center of the Earth.

I think you might have an order of magnitude wrong.
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