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At Forbes: Gravitational waves detection was all just noise, some researchers say


From Sabine Hossenfelder at at Forbes:

After an effort of more than 100 years and a collaboration involving over 1,000 scientists, we all celebrated. It was February 11, 2016, and LIGO had just announced their first direct detection of gravitational waves. Analysis of the data attributed the signal to a black hole merger that happened several billion light years away. But what if there wasn’t a signal at all, but rather patterns and correlations in the noise that fooled us into believing we were seeing something that wasn’t real? A group of Danish researchers just submitted a paper arguing that the celebration might have been premature.

Hossenfelder is not convinced.

Making sense of somebody else’s data is tricky, as I can confirm from my own experience. Therefore, I think it is likely the Danish group made a mistake. Nevertheless, I would like to see a clear-cut explanation and “they did something wrong” is too vague for my comfort. This is a Nobel-worthy discovery and much is at stake. Even the smallest doubt that something is at odds should be erased.More.

If gravitational waves detection is all just noise, that is not good news for future cosmology funding. Maybe space travel and exploration programs are a better investment for the tax-paying public? Stay tuned.

See also: Gravitational waves reliably detected – Updated IV


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