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

Subscribe free to our newsletters via your

Science Begins For LIGO In Quest To Detect Gravitational Waves

getting into the guts of it all

Pasadena - Apr 14, 2003
Armed with one of the most advanced scientific instruments of all time, physicists are now watching the universe intently for the first evidence of gravitational waves.

First predicted by Albert Einstein in 1916 as a consequence of the general theory of relativity, gravitational waves have never been detected directly.

In Einstein's theory, alterations in the shape of concentrations of mass (or energy) have the effect of warping space-time, thereby causing distortions that propagate through the universe at the speed of light.

A new generation of detectors, led by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO), is coming into operation and promises sensitivities that will be capable of detecting a variety of catastrophic events, such as the gravitational collapse of stars or the coalescence of compact binary systems.

The commissioning of LIGO and improvements in the sensitivity are coming very rapidly, as the final interferometer systems are implemented and the limiting noise sources are uncovered and mitigated.

In fact, the commissioning has made such rapid progress that LIGO is already capable of performing some of the most sensitive searches ever undertaken for gravitational waves.

A similar device in Hannover, Germany (a German-U.K. collaboration known as GEO) is also getting underway, and these instruments are being used together as the initial steps in building a worldwide network of gravitational-wave detectors.

The first data was taken during a 17-day data run in September 2002. That data has now been analyzed for the presence of gravitational waves, and results are being presented at the American Physical Society meeting in Philadelphia.

No sources have yet been detected, but new limits on gravitational radiation from such sources as binary neutron star inspirals, selected pulsars in our galaxy and background radiation from the early universe, are reported.

Realistically, detections are not expected at the present sensitivities. A second data run is now underway with significantly better sensitivity, and further improvements are expected over the next couple of years.

As the initial LIGO interferometers start to put new limits on gravitational-wave signals, the LIGO Lab, the LIGO Scientific Collaboration, and international partners are proposing an advanced LIGO to improve the sensitivity by more than a factor of 10 beyond the goals of the present instrument.

It is anticipated that this new instrument may see gravitational-wave sources as often as daily, with excellent signal strengths, allowing details of the waveforms to be read off and compared with theories of neutron stars, black holes, and other highly relativistic objects.

The improvement of sensitivity will allow the one-year planned observation time of the initial LIGO to be equaled in a matter of hours. The National Science Foundation has supported LIGO, and collaboration between Caltech and MIT were responsible for its construction. A scientific community of more than 400 scientists from around the world are now involved in research at LIGO.

Related Links
LIGO at CalTech
GEO at Hannover
Search SpaceDaily
Subscribe To SpaceDaily Express

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

Astronomers Stretch Celestial Yardstick to New Lengths
Baltimore - Apr 14, 2003
Astronomers' "yardstick" for measuring vast distances across the cosmos grew longer today as scientists at The Johns Hopkins University announced they had identified and closely analyzed two distant new instances of a kind of exploding star known as a Type Ia supernova.

  • Iowa-based Company Takes Soyfoods to Space
  • Yuri's Night 2003
  • Yuri's Night 2003
  • Growing Call For Space Settlement as Core Goal Of Human Space flight

  • NASA Rovers Slated To Examine Two Intriguing Sites On Mars
  • How far can a dentist's drill go?
  • Mars: Settling In For The Long Wait
  • Prolific NASA Orbiter Adds Thousands Of Photos To Mars Album

  • Successful Liftoff For Ariane-5
  • AsiaSat 4 In Orbit Makes It 64 Consecutive Launch Successes For Atlas
  • Launch Of NASA's Infrared Telescope Postponed
  • ILS Signs New Contract with Eutelsat for Proton Launch

  • NASA Takes A Look At Menacing Peruvian Glacier
  • Industry Gathers For ESA/EC Global Monitoring Programme
  • Space Imaging Establishes New Brazilian Sales Channel
  • Nasa Striving To Improve Earth Science Mission Planning

  • Pluto-Kuiper Belt Mission Moves Ahead
  • Having Pups Over Pluto And The Planetary Misfits Of The Kuipers
  • Pork For All
  • The Kuipers Beckon As Pluto Mission Funded

  • Science Begins For LIGO In Quest To Detect Gravitational Waves
  • Astronomers Stretch Celestial Yardstick to New Lengths
  • Magnetism Of Colliding Neutron Stars Can Power Gamma-Ray Bursts
  • Spinning Black Hole Clue In Gamma-Ray Burst Signatures

  • Moon's Early History May Have Been Interrupted By Big Burp
  • Memories Of Orange Rock From The Lunar Age
  • Taos Goes Lunar With International Talkfest
  • Moon and Earth Formed out of Identical Material

  • Boeing Delta II Boosts GPS System with Successful Satellite Deployment
  • Precise Location and Navigation in the Centimetre Range
  • Europe's Galileo Project And Leadership In Space Enterprises
  • Trimble And Rosum Team To Develop Universal Positioning Technology

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2006 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA PortalReports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additionalcopyrights 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 SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement