The detectors are also surrounded by all sorts of devices seismometers, magnetometers, microphones and gamma-ray detectors, to name a few that measure disturbances in the data and remove them.
- To Hunt Gravitational Waves, Scientists Had to Create the Quietest Spot on Earth.
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Anything that could interfere with or be wrongfully interpreted as a gravitational-wave signal must also be hunted down and eliminated, Blair said. That includes imperfections within the detector itself —- what's known as noise —- or non-astrophysical disturbances that get picked up by the instrument —- what are known as glitches. Physicists must even account for the vibrations of the atoms that make up the detector's mirror and the random fluctuations of the current in the electronics.
On a larger scale, glitches can be anything from a passing freight train to a thirsty raven. And glitches can be really tricky to nail down.idercinrima.tk
When Arnaud Pele joined the detector- engineering team at LIGO, he was tasked with figuring out where an especially pesky disturbance was coming from: the instruments that measured the motion of the ground around the gravitational wave detectors were registering a constant spike, and no one knew why. After several months of dogged sleuthing, he found the culprit: an unassuming rock lodged between the ground and some mechanical springs under a ventilation system. Most important, perhaps, there are three detectors: Besides the one in Louisiana, there's one in Hanford, Washington, and a third in Italy: "If something is real [ If it's a freight train or a rock lodged under a spring, then it will only show up in one of the three detectors.
With all these tools and some very sophisticated algorithms, scientists are able to quantify the likelihood that a signal is indeed a gravitational wave.
LIGO upgrade to allow ‘almost daily’ detection of gravitational waves
They can even calculate the false alarm rate for a given detection, or the possibility that the exact signal would appear by accident. One of the events from earlier this summer, for instance, had a false alarm rate of less than once in , years , making it an extremely compelling candidate.
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But we'll have to wait until the final verdict is out. The reporting for this article was partially supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation.
What Is a Gravitational Wave? | NASA Space Place – NASA Science for Kids
Originally published on Live Science. Live Science. These predicted waveforms show what two merging black holes should look like according to the equations of Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity, along with the instrument's ever-present noise. Time is plotted on the X-axis and strain on the Y-axis.
LIGO and Virgo have observed the merger of several binary black holes and one binary neutron star. The black holes represent a new population with masses that are larger than what had been seen previously with X-ray studies alone.
This plot shows the masses of the binary components before merger, as well as the mass of the merger remnant. GW GW First binary neutron star detection; first electromagnetic counterpart.
See Runs O1 and higher for papers following the first detection. Timeline and brief history of the LIGO project.