Washington, Feb 12: As the momentous news of gravitatiol waves being detected 100 years after Albert Einstein’s prediction broke on Thursday, scientists discussing the significance of the major discovery revealed that this discovery would eble us not just to see the stars, but also to listen to them.
Alysis of the gravitatiol waves - ripples in the fabric of spacetime - suggests they origited from a system of two black holes, each with the mass of about 30 Suns, that gravitatiolly drew closer to each other.
The dense objects whipped up to nearly the speed of light before colliding, sending out a stupendous release of gravitatiol wave energy that eventually reached the Earth, 1.5 billion light years away. “For this biry black hole system, it made a distinctive, rising ‘whoooop!’ sound,” said one of the researchers Matthew Evans, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research (MKI). “This detection means that the stars are no longer silent . . . It is not that we just look up and see anymore, like we always have — we actually can listen to the universe now. It’s a whole new sense, and humanity did not have this sense until LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitatiol Wave Observatory) was built,” Evans noted.
Gravitatiol waves — a major prediction of Einstein’s 1915 general theory of relativity — that carry information about their dramatic origins and about the ture of gravity that cannot be obtained from elsewhere, were detected on September 14, 2015 by both of the twin (LIGO) detectors, located in Livingston, Louisia, and Hanford, Washington.
The LIGO observatories were conceived, built and are operated by the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). To get behind the scenes of this major discovery, The Kavli Foundation hosted an exclusive roundtable discussion on Thursday with three key LIGO researchers, who are all part of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research (MKI). The panel discussed how studying gravitatiol waves will push Albert Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity—which origilly predicted their existence almost exactly a century ago—to its limits, while revolutionising our understanding of the most violent events in the universe. As the gravitatiol waves warped space-time within LIGO’s gargantuan, twin detectors, its exquisitely sensitive instruments registered vibrations on the order of thousands of the diametre of a proton, the scientists said. (IANS)