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Astronomy & Near Earth Phenomena

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Gravity Waves

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Offline Snowcrash Topic starter
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There's been loads of hyperbole in the news announcing the measurement of gravity waves.

Here's the science. BTW they are very, very, very small.

Posted February 13, 2016, 09:52:24 AM Logged
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Offline Carl2
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What I heard from the video is they are measuring the movement of space time.  That really doesn't have much meaning to me.
Carl2
Posted February 13, 2016, 11:54:13 AM Logged

Offline DaveMorton
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It doesn't have much meaning to most people, Carl. But for those of us who wear pocket protectors (real or imagined) it's "final proof" that Einstein was right, so it's really exciting... at least to us. Cheesy

We talked about this in Astronomy class on Thursday, and the instructor (who only learned about the announcement about an hour before class) scrapped the day's original agenda in order to discuss it. He even scoured the Internet to find an activity that was relevant, in the form of "Signal to Noise" analysis, where we were to examine several signals with considerable noise in them, attempting to match them up with a large list of templates of potential matches. IT was a little tedious, but since this was a group activity, and I was teamed up with a couple of pretty ladies to work with, it was rather fun. Our instructor thinks (and I tend to agree with him) that Humans are just a bit better at this sort of thing than computers are, and that idea sparked a bit of a debate within the class. All in all, it was a rather good and fun class session. Smiley
Posted February 13, 2016, 17:12:40 PM Logged
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Offline Carl2
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  I remember the ink stains on the shirt pocket and the pocket protectors.  I always wondered about Einstein thinking about what he did while I thought about the girls.  Read quite a bit about him, got an A when quizzed about his studies.
  As far as S/N I built an audio filter for use with Dragon, it increased the S/N from 19 db to 32 db.  Reminds me of your experience of dragon and I'm wondering how you made out.
  I'd agree it would take a person with experience to decide what type of filtering is required.
Carl2
Posted February 13, 2016, 22:47:51 PM Logged

Offline Snowcrash Topic starter
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Spacetime is quite a hard concept to get your head around but it stems from the fact that the speed of light (in a vacuum) is constant. Everything else is variable. If you are travelling at a fair proportion of the speed of light (0.25C say) and I was "stationary" compared to you, then my space would be a mixture of your space and time and vice versa. We would never agree on the timing of an explosion that happened between us but both of us would be right and the laws of physics would not be broken.

Did not check on the S/N ratio of gravity waves. I heard the mass of a truck driving past several miles away swamps the signal.
Posted February 15, 2016, 20:45:13 PM Logged
“I cannot remember the books I've read any more than the meals I have eaten; even so, they have made me.”

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Offline DaveMorton
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I'm given to understand that they have devices (probably seismometers or accelerometers of some sort) that can be used to subtract such disturbances from the incoming signal, but having never been there (or read tech specs on the facilities) I'm not sure. Stands to reason that something like that would be in place, though. Smiley
Posted February 15, 2016, 20:52:59 PM Logged
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Offline Data
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I heard on the news that with the next generation of detectors they should be able to gather some useful information from the gravity waves. Now they have detected them and proved they are there the next step will be to do some science with them.

What exact knowledge they can gain from the detected gravity waves I don't know, maybe someone else does  Smiley
Posted February 15, 2016, 21:14:37 PM
Last Edit: February 16, 2016, 01:22:46 AM by Data
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Offline DaveMorton
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With only 2 LIGO facilities running now, all they can do is detect the presence of gravity waves, and a general "direction", but 2 more are in the works, and when those are put into service, they can more precisely determine the direction, plus they'll be able to accurately determine the distance of the source. Also, with 4 units, they'll be able to detect much smaller signals, so supernovas may well be within the range of sensitivity, and maybe even the gravity waves generated by the orbits of some of the stars around the black hole in the center of the Milky Way (though that might also require improvements in the tech before that's possible). In one of the articles I've read on the announcement, it was mentioned that gravity waves may actually be capable of FTL speeds (it's estimated that they may travel between 0.8 and 1.2C, though I suspect it's just at the speed of light). Once the other 2 facilities are online, it may be possible to gauge the exact speed of GW, and with that, we could learn if FTL is actually possible. Smiley
Posted February 16, 2016, 03:37:28 AM Logged
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Offline Carl2
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  I still remember one of the first ruby lasers, it was used to measure the band pass of infrared filters.  It actually used a ruby crystal and was the size of a large machine.  I took ages before the semiconductor version of a led was manufactured, it was a great device in the electronic labs but the only color was red.  Then the seven segment device to indicate numbers which could replace meters.  Special integrated circuits were made for use with these leds.  Seems it took 45 years to develop them to a point where I can use them for home lighting.
  I'm thinking the TV I use as a monitor is using leds also, mass production makes it cost less than the monitor.  It will be interesting to see what we learn about gravity.
Carl2
Posted February 16, 2016, 12:27:41 PM Logged

Offline Data
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Dave, thank you for your explanation  thumbsup

Faster than light speed, wouldn't that be something, after all we have been taught that nothing can travel faster than light. Time will tell or should that be space time will tell.  Wink

Agree with carl2, this next gen of detectors might take a long time to develop.
Posted February 16, 2016, 13:23:09 PM Logged

Offline 8pla.net
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I noticed a pattern to what Dave posted.

First they had 2^0 facility, Einstein.
Now they have  2^1 facilities.
They will have 2^2 facilities.

When they have an odd number of facilities,
that is not mentioned.

Posted February 16, 2016, 14:42:03 PM Logged
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Offline Freddy
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I find the faster than light bit interesting - when I first saw this story, I thought hmm, does that mean FLT is something that happens - which is a thing with me as I could never see why speed should be limited.
Posted February 16, 2016, 16:19:45 PM Logged

Offline DaveMorton
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I doubt that I can explain it accurately in "layman's terms", but essentially, the faster you go, the more energy it takes to go faster. The way the equation (E=MC2) works is that, the closer you get to C (the speed of light), the more mass an object acts like it takes on, till when you reach C, you have an object with infinite mass, which is, of course, impossible, but.... Ok, I'm glazing over my own eyes here. Sorry. See? I can't explain it well, so never mind. Tongue
Posted February 16, 2016, 22:35:00 PM Logged
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Offline Data
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Here's a thought that I might have picked up somewhere. 

Nothing can travel faster than light but it might be possible for something to travel further distance than light can for a given amount of time.

If the space between can be compressed somehow.

I think gravity waves might have something to do with that.

Ok now my brain hurts  Grin
Posted February 16, 2016, 22:46:27 PM Logged

Offline Freddy
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I'm pretty sure the answer was 42 guys.

Go Team
Posted February 17, 2016, 00:18:45 AM Logged
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