Questions tagged [ligo]

The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (short LIGO) is a large interferometer used for the detection of gravitational waves. Use this tag for questions about this specific installation; for questions more generally about the properties of gravitational waves or gravitation, use [gravitational-waves] and/or [general-relativity]

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Why is the detection of gravitational waves so significant?

LIGO has announced the detection of gravitational waves on 11 Feb, 2016. I was wondering why the detection of gravitational waves was so significant? I know it is another confirmation of general ...
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Why does the LIGO observation disprove higher dimensions?

I recently read this article which claims that last year’s LIGO observation of gravitational waves is proof that, at least on massive scales, there cannot be more than three spatial dimensions. I ...
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Why does LIGO do blind data injections but not the LHC?

The LIGO group has a team that periodically produces fake data indicating a possible gravitational wave without informing the analysts. A friend of mine who works on LHC data analysis told me that ...
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Why are LIGO's beam tubes so wide?

Gravitational wave detectors and particle accelerators have at least one thing in common -- they require long vacuum tubes through which a narrow beam is fired (a laser in the gravitational wave case, ...
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How do LIGO and Virgo know that a gravitational wave has its origin in a neutron star or a black hole?

It is being said that gravitational-wave detectors are now able to distinguish neutron star waves from those originating from black holes. Two Questions: How do LIGO and Virgo know that a ...
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Could (old) LIGO have detected GW150914?

The merging black hole binary system GW150914 was detected in only 16 days of aLIGO data at a signal level that appears to be well above the detection threshold at around 5 sigma. There are no further ...
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How strong were the gravitational waves that LIGO detected at the source?

Congrats to the LIGO team on the announcement of their discovery of gravitational waves! The articles I've read say that the distortion we see here is much smaller than a proton. What about at the ...
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What will we learn from further LIGO events?

LIGO announced a third gravitational wave detection today. The news outlets didn't comment on significant differences between this one and previous detections. Did this third event teach us anything ...
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How can LIGO still detect the gravitational waves?

I was watching this video by Veritasium (note: I don't have much physics knowledge). As I understand, at LIGO they detect the gravitational waves that were generated by the collision of the two black ...
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How does Zumberge's 1981 gravitational measurements relate to gravitational waves?

Gravitational waves were discovered 35 years ago without fanfare in 1981/2 by Zumberge, R L Rinker and J E Faller, then completely ignored. See: "A Portable Apparatus for Absolute Measurements of ...
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What is black hole spin?

First of, congrats to the people at LIGO. In this article, the BBC notes that the latest LIGO results show that a new black hole was formed with a spin of $0.2$ (dimensionless number). What exactly ...
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Is there a good chance that gravitational waves will be detected in the next years?

Is there a good chance that gravitational waves will be detected in the next years? Theoretical estimates on the size of the effect and the sensitivity of the newest detectors should permit a ...
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How are the 4 km arms of LIGO measured so accurately?

The arms of the LIGO interferometer are 4 km long. Now, LIGO functions by measuring phase difference between two beams of light coming (as in a Michelson interferometer) to a sensitivity of $10^{-18}\:...
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LIGO flawed by the identical expansion of laser wavelength and arms in presence of a gravitational wave?

LIGO, Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, is a large-scale physics experiment aiming to directly detect gravitational waves. The device measures the phase shift laser beams. If I ...
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G4v Gravitational Wave vs General Relativity vs LIGO Observation

CalTech emeritus professor Carver Mead produced an alternative prediction, to General Relativity, for gravitation wave observation which he published last year in anticipation of LIGO observations. ...
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The LIGO Gravitational Wave Detection: have deep-mantle earthquakes been ruled out? [duplicate]

Everywhere I've looked so far that talks about the possibility the LIGO detection was an earthquake, involves being ruled out due to the large distance between the two LIGO sites. Two identical ...
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Do gravitational waves add mass to black hole?

Due to the recent discovery of gravitational waves by LIGO I was wondering suppose a black hole stood between a gravitational wave then due to the fact that black hole can attract every thing then ...
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Are the LIGO observations proof of a black hole merger, and what happened to the black holes?

Recent reports claim that the gravitational waves detected by LIGO match up with the signal expected from two black holes merging as predicted by general relativity. Additionally, the masses of both ...
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How does LIGO remove the effects of environmental noise?

Since LIGO is dealing with readings at nanometers, events such as vehicles driving nearby, and constant (but extremely minor) tremors of the earth can cause movement with the mirrors at nanometers. ...
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Is there a “CGBR”?

The recent discovery by the LIGO made me wonder about this. We know that there exists a CMBR, Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation, a blanket of electromagnetic energy covering the universe, made by ...
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What makes us think we can actually detect gravitational waves?

This refers to the discussion about gravitational waves for the YouTube video LIGO Gravitational Wave Observatory. I have two questions: When the gravitational wave passes through the space where ...
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How were the solar masses and distance of the GW150914 merger event calculated from the signal?

The GW150914 signal was observed, giving us the frequency and amplitude of the event. Because LIGO has two detectors a rough source location could be derived. But how do these three factors allow for ...
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What LIGO should detect that it has not yet?

What would the lack of detection of such phenomena tell us about the Universe? What should be the most frequent signals detected, theoretically speaking? I'm a lay person in the area, so you might ...
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Isn't LIGO basically measuring the luminiferous aether?

I am bit confused about this one. I am not very acknowledgeable about gravitational waves and LIGO. But if it is basically a Michelson interferometer and can detect shifts in vacuum, doesn't this ...
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How does the orientations of the two black holes' spins show up in LIGO data? (GW170104)

Today's Phys. Rev Letter GW170104: Observation of a 50-Solar-Mass Binary Black Hole Coalescence at Redshift 0.2 shows the analysis of the third confirmed detection of a black hole merger by the LIGO ...
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Gravitational waves frequency

When people quote the discovery of gravitational waves no reference seems to be made to the frequency, presumably this is about the current state of detectors. Or are the frequencies detected the ...
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Why do detectors for gravitational waves have only two perpendicular arms, not three?

I wonder why detectors for gravitational waves have only two perpendicular arms, not three. Having three arms appears to allow for better detection of direction, or may even increase sensitivity (I ...
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Implications of the LIGO detections on the 'Modified Gravity' Program

We all know that GR needs modification at the microscopic scale but there are some attempts to modify GR in the classical regime as well, known by the name of "Modified Gravity". As far as I ...
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In what sense are shot noise and photon pressure canonically-conjugate variables in the LIGO interferometer?

This week I saw a seminar by Kip Thorne and he mentioned that in the LIGO interferometer, the photon shot noise is actually canonically conjugate to the noise induced by photon pressure acting on the ...
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LIGO sensitivity in terms of minimum received power per area

I've been looking at LIGO figures for gravitational wave sensitivity here and it seem to be displayed in an adimensional strain ratio (which I assume that is more or less equivalent to metric ...
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Meaning of $5.1\sigma$ significance with regards to GW150914

I couldn't find any publication by LIGO that explains how we should interpret this value. The closest I have found is the following quote: This means that a noise event mimicking GW150914 would be ...
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How many galaxies could be the source of the recent LIGO detection?

The recent LIGO detection is pretty exciting, and a lot of people are asking whether there is a chance of optical detection of the black hole pair that created the signal. From a cursory reading of ...
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How is it that distortions in space can be measured as distances? [duplicate]

Imagine yourself and anything you're able to perceive to be drawn onto a rubber band. Any means of determining distances would be affected by the stretching/contracting of the rubber band. The ...
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How do the LASERs in LIGO realize that space has expanded as a gravitational wave passes by?

I read an article on LIGO, and I heard it mentioned that it is a nontrivial argument to say that the effect can be measured by interferometry. What happens to space as the wave passes? Does the light ...
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What is the status of gravitational wave searches? [closed]

What is the status of gravitational wave searches such as LIGO?
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Would it be scientifically useful to put a LIGO or VIRGO on the moon?

Or a couple of them on the moon? It seems to me that it's seismically pretty quiet there, with no trucks bouncing around on a nearby highway messing things up. Maybe four LIGOs at the vertices of a ...
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Is LIGO able to detect the memory effect of gravitational waves?

Recently some articles in popular media1, 2 informed that LIGO will be able to measure the memory effect of gravitational waves described by Demetrios Christodoulou in 1991.3 The measurement method ...
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Does the mass lost by merging black holes depend on how they merged?

We've all heard the news about the detection by gravitational waves of two black holes, one 29 solar masses and the other 36 solar masses, spiraling into each other to create a single black hole of 62 ...
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How are LIGO mirrors cooled?

The recent LIGO announcement Observation of Gravitational Waves from a Binary Black Hole Merger has some technical details about LIGO. For example, LIGO is a modified Michelson interferometer. The ...
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Why hasn't LIGO been able to detect the black hole merger statistics of events that are individually undetectable?

The recently published LIGO signal was extremely strong, this was detected using the upgraded, more sensitive version of the previous LIGO setup. Since the signal of a black hole merger is described ...
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What is the point of the reaction mass in the LIGO mirror suspension system?

I learned from the LIGO official website that the LIGO mirror suspension system consists of a "main chain" and a "reaction chain", and there are small electric motors gently pushing the masses on the ...
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LIGO only measures of diagonal components of metric tensor?

In a paper from Paik et al. 2016, they state (Section 3) that, a terrestrial gravitational wave (GW) detector measures only one off-diagonal component of the metric tensor. Can anyone further expand ...
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How well can we localize gravitational wave sources?

A recent question cited a story about the recent gravitational wave detection saying that we can use the gravitational wave sensing to find supernova earlier in their process of collapse: [with the ...
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Formula to calculate the frequency of gravitational waves emitted by two bodies inspiral?

Is there a small straightforward equation which can give the approximate frequency of the gravitational waves emitted by the inspiral of two bodies?
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Orientation of the LIGO Arms

The orientation of the interferometer arms at both sites are approximately Northeast-Southwest and Nortwest-Southeast, though I assume that, on account of the Earth's curvature, no pair of arms is ...
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Can LIGO be explained in terms of gravitons?

If electromagnetic waves from a star are so faint, all that can be detected are single photons on a photographic plate. For the LIGO experiment, the gravitational waves were so weak, I would have ...
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Colliding black holes

If objects approaching the event horizon of a black hole appear to slow down to outside observers, how was LIGO abel to "see" black holes collide? Wouldn't their collision appear to stop as their ...
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How would we estimate, ahead of time, “the chances” of LIGO spotting black holes colliding in the period that it has been operating? [duplicate]

Can anyone summarize calculations that have been done about the theoretical probability of a detectable black hole collision happening in the observable universe within the time that LIGO has been ...
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Frequency and amplitude for the three gravitational wave events at LIGO

I was reading LIGO/VIRGO's article Binary Black Hole Mergers in the First Advanced LIGO Observing Run, and have two questions concerning the frequencies and the amplitudes of the three gravitational ...
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What is the uncertainty in the one solar mass radiated away as pure energy? (Gravitational waves)

edit: Thanks to the comment below - I learned that the PLR is available to read http://journals.aps.org/prl/pdf/10.1103/PhysRevLett.116.241103. In it, ref. 5 links to this preprint dated June15, 2016: ...