LIGO: Live Reaction Blog

I don’t usually reblog my own posts, but this is just to mark the fact that the first discovery of gravitational waves by Advanced LIGO was announced on this day in 2016.

Can that really have been 5 years ago?

In the Dark

So the eagerly awaited press conference happened this afternoon. It started in unequivocal fashion.

“We detected gravitational gravitational waves. We did it!”

As rumoured, the signal corresponds to the coalescence of two black holes, of masses 29 and 36 times the mass of the Sun.

The signal arrived in September 2015, very shortly after Advanced LIGO was switched on. There’s synchronicity for you! The LIGO collaboration have done wondrous things getting their sensitivity down to such a level that they can measure such a tiny effect, but there still has to be an event producing a signal to measure. Collisions of two such massive black holes are probably extremely rare so it’s a bit of good fortune that one happened just at the right time. Actually it was during an engineering test!

Here are the key results:

LIGO

Excellent signal to noise! I’m convinced! Many congratulations to everyone involved…

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3 Responses to “LIGO: Live Reaction Blog”

  1. Time flies. GR was announced more than 100 years ago. Many of us will still be alive at the centennial of the first Moon landing.

    And how can it be more than 5 years since David Bowie died?

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