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

Subscribe free to our newsletters via your

How to Detect Colliding Black Holes
by Staff Writers
Potsdam, Germany (SPX) Mar 17, 2016

The two black holes detected by LIGO during their last orbits about each other, just before they collide. The image from a computer calculation shows the black holes and their past tracks in the top half, and illustrating in the bottom half how the black hole's intense gravity warps space and time. Image courtesy H. Pfeiffer/SXS Collaboration.

On March 18, 2016, Harald Pfeiffer, Associate Professor at the Canadian Institute for Theoretical Physics, Toronto, will be honoured with a Bessel Award of the Humboldt Foundation. The award will allow him to stay at the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute, AEI) in Potsdam where he will work closely with Prof. Buonanno's division on the prediction of the gravitational waves that are generated when black holes collide.

Albert Einstein predicted the existence of gravitational waves 100 years ago. These tiny ripples in space and time are generated when black holes or neutron stars collide.

In September 2015, the LIGO observatories detected gravitational waves for the very first time on Earth. The waves they catched from space originated from two black holes that merged 1.3 billion light years ago in a distant galaxy. Finding the tiny waves, as well as deciphering what was seen, requires detailed knowledge of the expected signals.

"We are looking for the needle in the haystack because the signals are buried in the noise", Pfeiffer explains. "But if we know how the needle looks like we have a better chance to find it." Pfeiffer's research on the construction of waveform models for gravitational-wave detectors focuses on numerical simulations - he solves Einstein's equations on supercomputers.

Together with his collaborators he is not only looking for one single needle, but for lots of different looking needles: binaries of black holes and/or neutron stars of different masses and spins that generate different looking signals.

Pfeiffer's research not only helps us locate black holes in the Universe and determine their size, but his calculations also teach us how space-time behaves when it is warped by black holes.

Pfeiffer has already arrived at AEI and will stay until July, 2016. "It is a great honour to have been selected for a Bessel Award of the Humboldt Foundation" says Pfeiffer.

"I am excited about the possibility to stay for an extended period at the Albert Einstein Institute, which combines world-class excellence in science with a welcoming and friendly atmosphere.

"During my stay I will study jointly with Prof. Buonanno's division, the collision of two black holes to enable gravitational wave detectors to measure properties of black holes, and to decide whether Einstein's theory of General Relativity is correct."

Helmut Schwarz, President of the Humboldt Foundation, will present the award at a special ceremony being held in Bamberg on March 18 at the 44th Symposium for Research Award winners.


Related Links
Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics
Understanding Time and Space

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

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Previous Report
Black holes banish matter into cosmic voids
Innsbruck in Austria (SPX) Feb 29, 2016
We live in a universe dominated by unseen matter, and on the largest scales, galaxies and everything they contain are concentrated into filaments that stretch around the edge of enormous voids. Thought to be almost empty until now, a group of astronomers based in Austria, Germany and the United States now believe these dark holes could contain as much as 20% of the 'normal' matter in the cosmos, ... read more

Permanent Lunar Colony Possible in 10 Years

China to use data relay satellite to explore dark side of moon

NASA May Return to Moon, But Only After Cutting Off ISS

Lunar love: When science meets artistry

Europe's New Mars Mission Bringing NASA Radios Along

Europe, Russia embark on search for life on Mars

How the ExoMars mission could sniff out life on Mars

ExoMars on its way to solve the Red Planet's mysteries

Astronaut Scott Kelly to retire in April

Space travel rules needed within 5 years: UN

Belgium Plans to Create Own National Space Agency

Accelerating discovery with new tools for next generation social science

China's ambition after space station

Sky is the limit for China's national strategy

Aim Higher: China Plans to Send Rover to Mars in 2020

China's lunar probe sets record for longest stay

Marshall supports 15 years of ISS science discoveries

Space station astronauts ham it up to inspire student scientists

Roscosmos-NASA Contract on US Astronauts Delivery to ISS on Restructuring

NASA station leads way for improved measurements of Earth orientation, shape

ISRO launches PSLV C32, India's sixth navigation satellite

Soyuz 2-1B Carrier Rocket Launched From Baikonur

Assembly of Russia's Soyuz Rocket With Earth-Sensing Satellite Completed

Ariane 5 launch contributes to Ariane 6 development

NASA's K2 mission: Kepler second chance to shine

Star eruptions create and scatter elements with Earth-like composition

Astronomers discover two new 'hot Jupiter' exoplanets

Sharpest view ever of dusty disc around aging star

Superman can start worrying - we've got the formula for (almost) kryptonite

ORNL researchers stack the odds for novel optoelectronic 2-D materials

Total invisibility cloak an impossibility, scientists say

Unpacking space radiation to control astronaut and earthbound cancer risk

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.