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When gravitational waves hit the 2 mirrors in LIGO and causes the signals to switch between in-phase and out-of-phase, it should only show the changes in frequency. What about the amplitude of the wave?

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2 Answers 2

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Changes in the interference pattern are due to changes in the distances between the mirrors, shifting by a fraction of a wavelength. The oscillating fractional change in this distance tells you the amplitude of the metric perturbation.

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They are not looking at amplitude. They are looking into time-frequency domain, where they have density of energy per 1 s and per 1 Hz. Technically they have J/s/Hz (Joule per s per Hz).

They see both changes in frequency and in time. But it does not make a task easier because majority of singals is just noise and they filter it all by very complex constructions and computer pattern recognition.

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