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Every now and then friends ask for an overview explanation of detection results from LIGO. I know/understand just enough to be useful to them.

One of the examples I use (I think it originated in a press pack from the group) is that the detection of the arm length changes is like measuring the distance to the nearest star to an accuracy smaller than the width of a human hair.

Now, pretty much anyone knows/can grasp how thin a strand of hair is, but the distance to the nearest star is not nearly as accessible.

Might there be a more generally accessible example like "detecting the sound of a single mosquito on the other side of Earth" where the everyman would have experience with the components involved?

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All you need is a factor of around 10^-22. This could come if you say 1) sensitive enough to measure length change of the width of human hair for distance between sun and nearest star 2) Length change of an atomic nuclei for the distance between Edinburgh and Glasgow

you probably cant talk in terms of sound. The problem is not that the GW events are not castrophic enough. Oh they are the most catastrophic events. The power output can outshine the power of all the stars combined in the visible universe. Problem is space-time is very stiff i.e. no matter now hard you hammer it, it only gets disturbed only a little.

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