Listening for Gravity waves, silence becomes meaningful (link)

The first run of LIGO, from as far as I can tell, has not detected gravity waves. This however, tells us that they must be less energetic than the limits of the device (or, of course, that gravity waves are nonexistant). An upgrade is coming to the device to increase its sensitivity so that maybe lower-energy (is that the right word?) gravity waves can be detected.

Okay physics folks, while I'm intrigued by this and get the basic premise, someone please explain what detecting these gravity waves will tell us, what it means if they aren't detected, and what it is exactly ruling out by limiting the types of waves we detect.


Views: 32

Replies to This Discussion

I know a much better test to try and find the gravity waves with a group of satellites was planned but NASA pulled out of a joint project with the ESA due to budget cuts. ESA is planning to go ahead with a more limited version of the testing. Hopefully results will happen even with the limitation but we'll be left wondering what more could have been learned? If found they would be a way to study general relativity more plus allow astronomers to study the very early universe.

I didn't know this project was going on.  It sounds really cool!  Gravity waves are the ripples in the fabric of space/time cause by an object interacting with it, for example, a planet floating near.  Sounds like they're trying to detect the ripples left from the Big Bang, which would be incredibly weak by now, I suspect.  We can still detect radiation from the Big Bang, so it stands to reason that they'd be looking for "gravity waves".  The problem with detecting them is that there is so much interference with all the matter we see, as well as the far greater amount of matter we don't see (the fact that we don't know what dark matter is yet really complicates things, I think), makes it difficult to be sure that the waves they're observing actually came from the Big Bang.  If they aren't detected, I personally think that it may be because we're not smart enough to figure it out yet.  It seems to be an incredibly complex process.  I'm looking into this more because I think it's fascinating!  Thanks for sharing!  I'll come post again if I find anything interesting to add.




Update Your Membership :



Nexus on Social Media:

© 2018   Atheist Nexus. All rights reserved. Admin: The Nexus Group.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service