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Gravitational waves are real — and that’s a huge f***ing deal!

A century ago, Albert Einstein theorized there was such a thing as a fabric of space and time — that the universe was malleable, and that large objects and events would cause it to bend.

He was right. From studying the signals emanating from the merging of two black holes — have separate masses equal to 36 and 29 suns — scientists with the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory were able to observe gravitational waves. Their measurements matched expectations of what Einstein predicted in his General Theory of Relativity.

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Bonus comic!

Yahoo! Einstein was right again! :D We now have our first detection of gravitational waves! 

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/12/science/ligo-gravitational-waves-black-holes-einstein.html?_r=0

http://www.space.com/17661-theory-general-relativity.html

Black Holes are not so Black (Part 3) - Gravitational Waves

The existence of Gravitational Waves have been confirmed. But you probably have heard that. In this post, we will break down this profound discovery into comprehend-able chunks.

This is going to be a amazing journey. Ready ?

Redefining Gravity

When we usually talk of Gravitation we are bound to think like Newton, where objects are assumed to exerting a force upon each other.

Like imaginary arrows of force in space. But this picture, although good for high school crumbled, with the advent of Einstein’s theory of Relativity.

What is the Space-Time Fabric?

Think of space-time fabric as an actual cloth of fabric. ( An analogy )

When you place an object on the fabric, the cloth curves. This is exactly what happens in the solar system as well.

The sun with such a huge mass bends the space-time fabric. And the earth and all the planets are kept in orbit by following this curvature that has been made by the sun.

Attributing to the various masses of objects, the way they bend this fabric also varies.



What are Gravitational Waves?

If you drop an object in a medium such as water, they produce ripples that propagate as waves through the medium.

Similarly, Gravitational waves are ripples in space-time fabric produced when you drag heavy objects through space time.

And the nature of these waves is that they don’t require a medium to propagate.

How do you make one?

Everything with mass/energy can create these waves.

Source

Two persons dancing around each other in space too can create gravitational waves. But the waves would be extremely faint.

You need something big and massive accelerating through space-time in order to even detect them.

And orbiting binary stars/black holes are valuable in this retrospect.

How can you detect them?

Let’s turn to the problem to detecting them assuming you do find binary stars/black-holes in the wondrous space to suite your needs.

Well, for starters you cannot use rocks/ rulers to measure them because as the space expands and contracts, so do the rocks. ( the distances will remain same in both the cases )

Here’s where the high school fact that the speed of Light is a constant no matter what plays an important and pivotal role.

If the space expands, the time taken for light to reach from A to B would be longer. And if it contracts, the time taken for it to reach from A to B would be smaller.

PC: PHDComics

By allowing the light waves from the contraction and expansion to interfere with each other, such as done in any interferometry experiment we can detect the expansion or contraction. Voila!

And this is exactly what they did! ( on a macroscopic level ) at LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory)




14 September 2015

Two Black Holes with masses of 29 and 36 solar masses merged together some 1.3 Billion light years away.

Two Black Holes colliding is the header animation of the ‘Black Holes are not so Black Series’, in case if you haven’t noticed.

The merger of these two black holes results in the emission of energy equivalent to 3 solar masses as Gravitational Waves.

This signal was seen by both LIGO detectors, in Livingston and Hanford, with a time difference of 7 milliseconds.

And with the measurement of this time difference, physicists have pronounced the existence of Gravitational Waves.

Source

All this is most certainly easily said than done and requires meticulous and extensive research, not to mention highly sensitive instruments.

Had they not have measured this time difference, we might have had to wait for the merger for more massive black holes to collide and maybe even build more sensitive instruments to detect these waves.

And Einstein predicted this a 100 years back!

Mind Blown!


Note: Hope you are able to understand and appreciate the profundity of the discovery done by mankind.


** All animations used here are merely for Educational purposes. If you have any issues, please write to us at : 153armstrong@gmail.com

Einstein presented his theory of relativity in 1916, but for an entire century nobody could find physical proof of black holes. In 2016, scientists finally detected gravitational waves that emitted from 2 black holes colliding, proving that such things not only exist, but that Einstein was right all along. Source

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Einstein’s famous prediction about gravitational waves may be coming true

One of the biggest mysteries in modern physics may have just been solved. The scientific community is abuzz with rumors that physicists have finally detected gravitational waves, fluctuations in the curvature of space-time that move at the speed of light throughout the galaxy. Noted physicist Albert Einstein first predicted them in 1916, theorizing they might explain how mass affects the very fabric of space-time. The discovery of the gravitational waves would be one of the biggest discoveries in physics in history

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The last, but not least of starry scholastic month! 

This week’s entry: Black Holes

http://www.space.com/15421-black-holes-facts-formation-discovery-sdcmp.html

http://www.space.com/19339-black-holes-facts-explained-infographic.html

No one knew exactly what a black hole would look like until they actually built one. Light, temporarily trapped around the black hole, produced an unexpectedly complex fingerprint pattern near the black hole’s shadow. And the glowing accretion disk appeared above the black hole, below the black hole, and in front of it. “I never expected that,” Thorne says. “Eugénie just did the simulations and said, ‘Hey, this is what I got.’ It was just amazing.”

In the end, Nolan got elegant images that advance the story. Thorne got a movie that teaches a mass audience some real, accurate science. But he also got something he didn’t expect: a scientific discovery. 

MORE: Wrinkles in Spacetime: The Warped Astrophysics of Interstellar 

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One hundred years after Albert Einstein predicted the existence of gravitational waves, they have been detected directly.

In a highly anticipated announcement, physicists with LIGO revealed today, on 11 February, that their twin detectors have heard the gravitational ‘ringing’ produced by the collision of two black holes about 1.3 billion light-years from Earth.

This means we now have a new tool for studying the Universe. For example, waves from the Big Bang would tell us a little more about how the universe formed.
read more here
Image credit: Nik Spencer/Nature

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A scientist just created a black hole in a lab

Physicist Jeff Steinhauer used a cloud of super-cold atoms to create what’s called an analogue black hole in a lab. Speeding up a cloud of super-cold atoms can simulate the conditions around the event horizon of a black hole. What’s more, his test may have just proved a 42-year-old Stephen Hawking theory.

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Black holes aren’t black

They’re very dark, sure, but they aren’t black. They glow, slightly, giving off light across the whole spectrum, including visible light.

This radiation is called “Hawking radiation”, after the former Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge University Stephen Hawking, who first proposed its existence. Because they are constantly giving this off, and therefore losing mass, black holes will eventually evaporate altogether if they don’t have another source of mass to sustain them; for example interstellar gas or light. (Source)

Turbulent Black Holes Grow Fractal Skins As They Feed

Feeding black holes develop a fractal skin as they grow. That’s the conclusion of simulations that take advantage of a correlation between fluid dynamics and gravity.

“We showed that when you throw stuff into a black hole, the surface of the black hole responds like a fluid – and in particular, it can become turbulent,” says Allan Adams at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “More precisely, the horizon itself becomes a fractal.”

Fractals are mathematical sets that show self-similar patterns: zoom in on one part of a fractal drawing, like the famous Mandelbrot set, and the smaller portion will look nearly the same as the original image. Objects with fractal geometries show up all over nature, from clouds to the coast of England.

Adams and his colleagues have now found evidence that fractal behaviour occurs in an unexpected place: on the surface of a feeding black hole. Black holes grow by devouring matter that falls into them; the black hole at the centre of our galaxy is due to feast on a gas cloud later this year. But the details of how feeding black holes grow, and how this might affect their host galaxies, are still unknown.