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Gravitational waves reliably detected – Updated IV

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Paper. (open access)

From MIT:

LIGO signal reveals first observation of two massive black holes colliding, proves Einstein right.

Now for the first time, scientists in the LIGO Scientific Collaboration — with a prominent role played by researchers at MIT and Caltech — have directly observed the ripples of gravitational waves in an instrument on Earth. In so doing, they have again dramatically confirmed Einstein’s theory of general relativity and opened up a new way in which to view the universe.

But there’s more: The scientists have also decoded the gravitational wave signal and determined its source. According to their calculations, the gravitational wave is the product of a collision between two massive black holes, 1.3 billion light years away — a remarkably extreme event that has not been observed until now. More.

Here’s a bit of background from Quanta:

Gravitational waves are perhaps the most elusive prediction of Einstein’s theory, one that he and his contemporaries debated for decades. According to his theory, space and time form a stretchy fabric that bends under heavy objects, and to feel gravity is to fall along the fabric’s curves. But can the “space-time” fabric ripple like the skin of a drum? Einstein flip-flopped, confused as to what his equations implied. But even steadfast believers assumed that, in any case, gravitational waves would be too weak to observe. They cascade outward from certain cataclysmic events, alternately stretching and squeezing space-time as they go. But by the time the waves reach Earth from these remote sources, they typically stretch and squeeze each mile of space by a minuscule fraction of the width of an atomic nucleus.

Einstein’s equations of general relativity are so complex that it took 40 years for most physicists to agree that gravitational waves exist and are detectable — even in theory.

Einstein first thought that objects cannot shed energy in the form of gravitational radiation, then changed his mind. He showed in a seminal 1918 paper which ones could: Dumbbell-like systems that rotate about two axes at once, such as binary stars and supernovas popping like firecrackers, can make waves in space-time.

Still, Einstein and his colleagues continued to waffle. Some physicists argued that even if the waves exist, the world will oscillate with them and they cannot be felt. It wasn’t until 1957 that Richard Feynman put that question to rest, with a thought experiment demonstrating that, if gravitational waves exist, they are theoretically detectable. But nobody knew how common those dumbbell-like sources might be in our cosmic neighborhood, or how strong or weak the resulting waves would be. “There was that ultimate question of: Will we ever really detect them?” Kennefick said. More.

From New Scientist

There were lingering worries that this signal could have been a deliberate fake. The LIGO team is infamous for secretly introducing ersatz gravitational wave signals into the data stream to test the experiment’s analysis procedures.

A previous “detection” in 2010 was sunk this way, but experienced team members knew something comforting this time around: fake signals aren’t inserted into engineering runs.

Other false positives could come from the accidental insertion of a pattern that looks like a signal, or even from malicious tampering. But by following procedures to check each instrument and each step in the data analysis, the team ruled these out, too.

The big reveal, which team members call “opening the box”, was on a conference call on 5 October. At the agreed-upon moment, a graph showing how likely it was that this signal was due to chance went live. The event was overwhelmingly likely to have been real. More

See also: Black hole size could kill general relativity? (Maybe not just yet 😉 )

Announcement here.

From ScienceAlert:

Gravitational waves are so exciting because they were the last major prediction of Einstein’s general theory of relativity that had to be confirmed, and discovering them will help us understand how the Universe is shaped by mass.

“Gravitational waves are akin to sound waves that travelled through space at the speed of light,” said gravitational researcher David Blair, from the University of Western Australia. “Up to now humanity has been deaf to the universe. Suddenly we know how to listen. The Universe has spoken and we have understood.”

What does that mean for us? Just think of all the breakthroughs that have come thanks to the discovery of x-rays and radio waves – now that we can detect gravitational waves, we’re going to have a whole new way to see and study the Universe.

From Discovery News:

Like radio waves, visible light, X-rays and other forms of electromagnetic radiation, Einstein believed that gravity also travels in waves. But even the most energetic events in the universe, such as two black holes crashing together, would cause only the slightest rippling through space and across time.

After decades of failed attempts, scientists fished out the first confirmed measurement of gravitational waves passing through Earth, a detection that required measuring 2.5-mile long L-shaped laser beams to a precision 10,000 times smaller than a proton.

Since everything from traffic to earthquakes will distort the beams, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, or LIGO, consists of two detectors separated by 1,865 miles. Because gravitational waves are believed to travel at light speed, a detection from a cosmic source picked up at one LIGO site should be followed up by an identical detection in the other 10 milliseconds later.

That’s exactly what scientists saw when they fished out waves set off by a pair of black holes 1.3 billion light-years from Earth spiraling toward each other and then colliding to form an even larger black hole, researchers said at a webcast press conference Thursday. More.

Well, this didn’t take very long. The flapdoodle begins:

FIND COULD LET SCIENTISTS BUILD TIME MACHINE…

New:

Infor-WHAT?

From The Weather Network

Also, with this detection, a whole new branch of astronomy opens up. Gravitational waves carry information along with them – specifically about the events that caused them, but possibly about the spacetime they’ve travelled through since then. This is information that can’t be obtained using any other kind of astronomy, so it gives us a whole new way of looking at the universe around us.

InforMATION? Well, let’s talk.

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Announcement here.

31 Replies to “Gravitational waves reliably detected – Updated IV

  1. 1
    Mapou says:

    Unless it’s corroborated by multiple independent experimenters, it’s not science. The conflict of interest in this industry is nothing short of scandalous. I predict this LIGO thing will eventually turn out to be a complete fiasco, not unlike the faster-than-light neutrino fiasco of a few years ago.

  2. 2
    Mapou says:

    The physics community cannot be trusted because they muzzle their critics just like the Darwinist community and the AGW alarmist community muzzle their critics. As I wrote earlier, the conflict of interest is nothing short of scandalous. Every single one of those scientists involved with LIGO are hoping to get a Nobel Prize and more billions from the taxpayer. And, of course, the taxpayer has no say in the matter.

    Here’s a voice of dissent if anybody is interested: Why Gravitational Waves are Nonsense.

  3. 3
    bill cole says:

    Mapou
    I agree it is good to be cautious here but I am more optimistic then the neutrino fiasco because this experiment confirmed predictions made by GR.The neutrino experiment defied general principals of physics.

    “Our theoretical predictions lie right on top of the experimentalists’ measurements — an exciting confirmation of general relativity,” said Cornell University astrophysicist Saul Teukolsky

    ?

  4. 4
    Mapou says:

    Bill, it is precisely because it corroborates GR that it should be taken with a huge grain of salt. The LIGO team did not set out to falsify GR but to corroborate it. This is not science. It’s a conspiracy of the relativist brotherhood. It’s crap.

    Sir Karl Popper is spinning in his grave at the speed of light, as I write.

  5. 5
    bill cole says:

    Mapou
    I have studied GR in some detail and have confidence in it. I agree science is always tentative so I respect your caution. The key is looking at the math and predictions which we don’t have time for but can wait until more data comes out. Again, I do appreciate your skepticism here.

  6. 6
    Mapou says:

    bill:

    I have studied GR in some detail and have confidence in it.

    I have zero confidence in it because I know it’s wrong. Why? Because, as Karl Popper wrote in “Conjectures and Refutations”, spacetime is “a block universe in which nothing happens.” GR also calls for a deterministic and continuous universe. This is not even wrong.

    But I’ll leave it at that. Interminable arguments over GR get old really fast.

  7. 7
    Peter says:

    Whoop, so what? General relativity has no applications. It makes no difference to us. Quantum mechanics is used everyday in the manufacturing of computer chips. Max Planck made an infintely more relevant contribution to our lives.

  8. 8
    hrun0815 says:

    Yes Peter. I’m sure those GPS systems would work just fine without general relativity.

  9. 9
    Me_Think says:

    @All doubting Thomases,
    The signal was detected by 2 LEGO detectors on Sept 14,2015 (UTC). It was analysed for over 3 months and the signal was found to be gravitational wave with 5.1 Sigma confidence, so yeah, no one has any doubt that it is a gravitational wave.

  10. 10
    Mapou says:

    Me_Think:

    so yeah, no one has any doubt that it is a gravitational wave.

    Sure. All false religions have diehards. And then, one day, without warning, a blaspheming enemy comes from out of nowhere, destroys their sacred places and defecates on their hollow idols in their presence. And afterwards, they’re just a footnote in history.

    ahaha…AHAHAHA…ahaha…

  11. 11
    Andre says:

    Stephen Hawking invented back holes. They do not exist… My evidence?

    http://www.noblackholes.com/

  12. 12
    J-Mac says:

    At least one aspect of the theory of relativity is flawed, which tells me that other aspects of it could be flawed too.

    The aspect of motion in the space-time is one of them.

    To understand my point watch the video The Illusion Of Time at 2330 min mark.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YRwZ55zjzxc

    According to the theory of relativity when the alien in the video millions of years away Earth travels away from Eath, his time “ticks into the past”.

    This would mean that 40 years ago, I would have to exist there as a toddler, my bike would have to be there and my grandfather would have to be alive and holding my bike, so that I wouldn’t fall off it.

    This can’t be. It is illogical…It’s an illusion.

  13. 13
    Mapou says:

    It goes without saying that GR is not 100% wrong. Otherwise it would never have survived or even seen the light of day. But most of it wrong. The one nice thing about GR is the equivalence principle whereby gravitational acceleration is said to be equivalent to inertial acceleration. Gravitational clock slowing (not time dilation, which is nonsense) is a good principle used in GPS navigation.

    But nobody needs to have curved spacetime, gravitational waves, time travel, black holes, wormholes, continuous structures, deterministic universe or any of the other absurd crap that Einsteinian physics is bloated with for GPS to work.

  14. 14
    Me_Think says:

    J-Mac @ 12

    This would mean that 40 years ago, I would have to exist there as a toddler, my bike would have to be there and my grandfather would have to be alive and holding my bike, so that I wouldn’t fall off it.

    That’s because the coordinates have been plotted by someone who has no idea of Special Relativity!
    In Minkowski space-time , the speed of light ALWAYS makes an angle of 45 degrees with ct(time axis) and x axis(spatial axis), so you can’t go backwards in time!

  15. 15
    Me_Think says:

    Mapou @ 13

    It goes without saying that GR is not 100% wrong. Otherwise it would never have survived or even seen the light of day. But most of it wrong. The one nice thing about GR is the equivalence principle whereby gravitational acceleration is said to be equivalent to inertial acceleration. Gravitational clock slowing (not time dilation, which is nonsense) is a good principle used in GPS navigation.

    Observations and experiments have shown time dilation to be true. For eg, In Brookhaven National lab in Long Island, beams of muon circulated in a 14 meter dia ring at 99.94% speed of light. Without time dilation, the muons would complete just 15 laps(muons have a life time of 2.2 microseconds). Guess what actually happened? They managed 400 laps! which means their lifetime increased by a factor of about 29. Guess what the Lorentz factor is at a speed of 99.94% c ? Drum roll… It is 1/Sqrt(1-(0.9994)^2))= 28.87
    There is no gravitational time dilation here.

  16. 16
    Mapou says:

    Me_Think:

    Observations and experiments have shown time dilation to be true.

    Not true. They have only shown differences in the speeds of clocks which I have no problem with. Clock slowing is not time dilation. This is one of the biggest misconceptions in relativity physics, one that has retarded progress in our understanding of the universe by at least 100 years. I place the blame squarely on Einstein and his army of clueless sycophants. Time cannot change by definition because changing time is self-referential. This is the reason that nothing can move in spacetime and why Karl Popper compared Einstein to Parmenides of Elea (Zeno’s mentor and teacher who maintained that change did not exist) and called spacetime, Einstein’s block universe in which nothing happens. Source: Conjectures and Refutations.

    In other words the invariability of time means that nothing can move in spacetime. That’s right. No geodesics and no worldlines. It’s all lies. This seldom published truth invariably takes relativists by surprise. The few who know it rarely talk about it because it’s so embarrassing to Einstein. Anybody who’s interested in the truth of this can read more about it at this link: How to Falsify Einstein’s Physics, for Dummies.

  17. 17
    Me_Think says:

    Mapou @ 16

    Not true. They have only shown differences in the speeds of clocks which I have no problem with. Clock slowing is not time dilation.

    Difference in speed of clock ? You think there were two clocks? – one clock comoving with muon and one stationary ?!

  18. 18
    Mapou says:

    Me_Think @17,

    You’re a jackass. See you around.

  19. 19
    Me_Think says:

    Mapou @ 19

    You’re a jackass. See you around.

    Where you talking to the mirror ?, because that is definitely not an answer to Question @ 17

  20. 20
    Mapou says:

    You can take your question and pack it up where the sun does not shine. How about that? LOL

  21. 21
    Me_Think says:

    Mapou @ 20

    You can take your question and pack it up where the sun does not shine. How about that? LOL

    So you do believe in black-holes !

  22. 22
    Mapou says:

    LOL. I got another one for you. How about you eat dog feces and croak? 😀

  23. 23
    Querius says:

    The big problem is that if gravity propagates only at the speed of light, rather than instantaneously, orbital mechanics indicate that orbits would decay relatively rapidly.

    For instantaneous gravitational effects, quantum entanglement has been proposed as a possible mechanism . . .

    -Q

  24. 24
    Mapou says:

    Querius @23,

    The lying relativists are aware of this but you underestimate their unlimited deviousness. They invented an incredibly complex mechanism to get around this obvious problem. According to them, every source mass broadcasts a special signal that informs target masses about the speed and direction of the source mass. This way, the target mass somehow adjusts its trajectory accordingly. Of course, this is all pseudoscience since there is no evidence for any of it. Kind of like Darwinism.

    But you are right and so was Newton. Gravity is indeed an instantaneous, nonlocal phenomenon. We are being lied to by powers and principalities in high places. But not for long. Soon, they will get what’s coming to them.

  25. 25
    velikovskys says:

    Mapou:

    Just curious, why the conspiracy? To what end?

  26. 26
    Mapou says:

    velikovskys,

    It’s not a conspiracy. They’ve been propping up their stupid lie for so long that they would lose face and the respect of the lay public if said public got wind of it. I must say they’re getting desperate lately. This billion-dollar LIGO thing is their way of bringing out the big guns, so to speak. Using our money, of course. But it won’t do them any good. Soon their entire little voodoo castle in the air will come crashing down. Wait for it. I’ve said it many times but I never get tired of repeating it. I’ll be watching the whole thing unfold with a beer in one hand, a bag of Cheetos in the other, and a smirk on my face.

    You heard here on UD first. LOL

  27. 27
    Me_Think says:

    Querius @ 23

    The big problem is that if gravity propagates only at the speed of light, rather than instantaneously, orbital mechanics indicate that orbits would decay relatively rapidly.

    Every binary pulsars’ inspiraling radius supports the fact that gravitational wave does NOT propagate instantaneous. The orbit decay is found to be proportional to 1/r^3 and the power radiated is 1/r^5
    Since the square of the orbital period of a body is proportional to the cube of the semi-major axis of its orbit,you would observe an insane rotational rate if gravitational wave propagation is instantaneous. So, instead of 2.82 time faster rotation on halving of the orbital radius, you would get an insane, Sqrt (2 r^2) !! rotational rate.

  28. 28
    Mapou says:

    Me_Think @27,

    You can jump up and down and foam at the mouth all you want but relativists are all a bunch of crackpots. Einstein had no clue as to the cause of gravity and the current crop of relativists are even more clueless. Spacetime, as so many thinkers have noted, is a block universe in which nothing happens. You call that physics? As Popper would say, relativity is an exercise in mythical metaphysics.

    Heck, you ignorant jackasses do not even know what causes something as fundamental as inertial motion. The deep, in-your-face ignorance of relativists and their insufferable pomposity are now legendary. All this nonsense about binary stars is a further sign of your abject ignorance and propensity for crackpottery.

    Take a hint from hamsters. When they get tired of running around all day in the wheel, they go into a corner and fall asleep. Just give a rest, crackpot.

  29. 29
    J-Mac says:

    Me_think

    “That’s because the coordinates have been plotted by someone who has no idea of Special Relativity!
    In Minkowski space-time , the speed of light ALWAYS makes an angle of 45 degrees with ct(time axis) and x axis(spatial axis), so you can’t go backwards in time!”

    Can you post some links on it or elaborate more, or both? Please!!

    I find it fascinating ….

  30. 30
  31. 31

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