Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .


Subscribe free to our newsletters via your




















PHYSICS NEWS
Detection of gravitational waves would open new window on universe
by Jean-Louis Santini
Washington DC (AFP) Feb 10, 2016


illustration only

The first-ever detection of gravitational waves, which scientists could announce Thursday, would open a new window on the universe and its most violent phenomena.

Scientists will hold a press conference Thursday to discuss the latest in their hunt for these waves, whose existence Albert Einstein predicted in his theory of general relativity 100 years ago, according to a statement from the National Science Foundation, which has funded the research.

Scientists from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) who have been working on the detection of these waves for years will participate.

Press conferences are also simultaneously scheduled at Paris's National Center for Science Research (CNRS) and also in London.

The announcement of a press conference revived rumors that have been circulating in the scientific community for months that the LIGO team may have indeed directly detected gravitational waves for the first time.

These waves are produced by disturbances in the fabric of space and time when a massive object moves, like a black hole or a neutron star.

Einstein theorized that they would appear like ripples in a pond that form when a stone is thrown in the water, or like a net that bows under the weight of an object placed within -- with the net serving as a metaphor for the bending of space-time.

According to the rumors, the team may observed the collision of two black holes and their fusion -- leading to the detection of gravitational waves.

Science magazine cited Clifford Burgess, a physicist at McMaster University in Canada and also a member of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, as saying he deemed the rumors credible, even though he had not yet seen any documentation from LIGO.

New look at universe
The ability to observe these gravitational waves would offer astronomer and physicists a new look at the most mysterious workings of the universe, including the fusion of neutron stars and the behaviors of black holes, which are often found in the centers of galaxies.

"The driving force of the universe is gravity," said Tuck Stebbins, Gravitational Astrophysics Lab Chief at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.

"These waves are streaming to you all the time and if you could see them, you could see back to the first one trillionth of a second of the Big Bang," he told AFP.

"There is no other way for humanity to see the origin of the universe."

Stebbins said he believes "we stand at a threshold of a revolutionary period in our understanding, our view of the universe."

The LIGO detectors -- one in Washington and one in Louisiana -- can "measure changes of spacetime at the level of 1/1000 diameter of a proton," he added.

Catherine Man, an astronomer at the Cote d'Azur Observatory in France, said the detection of these waves -- if confirmed -- would allow astronomers to probe the interior of stars and perhaps resolve the mystery of gamma rays, which are among the most powerful explosions in the universe and whose cause remains poorly understood.

"Now we are no longer observing the universe with telescopes using ultraviolet light or visible light but we are listening to the noises produced by the effects of the gravitation of celestial bodies on the fabric of space-time, which could come from stars or black holes," she told AFP.

"And since the star or black hole does not stop these waves, which move at the speed of light, they come right to us and we can therefore make models... to distinguish and detect their signatures."

Previously, two Princeton scientists won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1993 for discovering a new type of pulsar that offered indirect proof of the existence of gravitational waves.

The LIGO team is collaborating with a French-Italian team on another detector, called VIRGO, that should become operational soon.

.


Related Links
Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory
The Physics of Time and Space






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Previous Report
PHYSICS NEWS
First locks released from LISA Pathfinder's cubes
Paris (ESA) Feb 05, 2016
Today, the lock fingers that kept the two test masses on LISA Pathfinder secure during the launch and cruise phase were successfully unlocked. As planned, the two cubes are still attached to the spacecraft via an additional mechanism that will hold them in place until mid February, as the teams carry on with the spacecraft and payload commissioning. Tests on LISA Pathfinder are proceeding ... read more


PHYSICS NEWS
Edgar Mitchell, astronaut who walked on Moon, dead at 85

The forgotten moon landing that paved the way for today's space adventures

ASU satellite selected for NASA Space Launch System's first flight

Lunar Flashlight selected to fly as secondary payload on Exploration Mission-1

PHYSICS NEWS
Opportunity climbing steeper slopes to reach science targets

Opportunity Reaches 12 Years on Mars!

4 people to live in an HERA habitat for 30 days at JSC

Sandy Selfie Sent from NASA Mars Rover

PHYSICS NEWS
NASA tests solar sail deployment for asteroid-surveying CubeSat NEA Scout

Mars or the Moon

The Orion Crew Module Pressure Vessel Ready For Testing

Astronaut rescue exercise proves Det. 3 command, control ready to support DoD, NASA

PHYSICS NEWS
China Conducts Final Tests on Most Powerful Homegrown Rocket

Last Launch for Long March 2F/G

China aims for the Moon with new rockets

China shoots for first landing on far side of the moon

PHYSICS NEWS
Russia to Deliver Three Advanced Spacesuits to ISS in 2016

Russians spacewalk to retrieve biological samples

Russian spacewalk marks end of ESA's exposed space chemistry

New Tool Provides Successful Visual Inspection of ISS Robot Arm

PHYSICS NEWS
SpaceX Conducts Hover Tests

SES-9 Launch Targeting Late February

Space Launch System's first flight will launch small Sci-Tech cubesats

Initial launcher assembly clears Ariane 5 for its payload integration process

PHYSICS NEWS
Earth-like planets have Earth-like interiors

The frigid Flying Saucer

Astronomers discover largest solar system

Lonely Planet Finds a Mum a Trillion Km Away

PHYSICS NEWS
Russia to Debut 3D Printed Armata Tank

Metal oxide sandwiches: New option to manipulate properties of interfaces

A fast solidification process makes material crackle

Researchers discover new phase of boron nitride and a new way to create pure c-BN




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News








The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2016 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.