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Gravitational Waves

  1. Einstein Was Right (
      "Gravitational waves -- ripples in the fabric of spacetime -- arenít just an Einstein theory any more. A team of international scientists announced Thursday that they confirmed the wavesí existence after recording feedback from a black hole collision a billion light-years from Earth. Hari Sreenivasan learns more from Dave Reitze of the California Institute of Technology." 02-16

  2. Scientists Begin Quest to Detect Gravity Waves (
      "Armed with one of the most advanced scientific instruments of all time, physicists are now watching the universe intently for the first evidence of gravitational waves." 6-03

  3. Scientists Have Detected Gravity Waves (New York Times)
      "A team of physicists who can now count themselves as astronomers announced on Thursday that they had heard and recorded the sound of two black holes colliding a billion light-years away, a fleeting chirp that fulfilled the last prophecy of Einsteinís general theory of relativity."

      "That faint rising tone, physicists say, is the first direct evidence of gravitational waves, the ripples in the fabric of space-time that Einstein predicted a century ago (Listen to it here.). And it is a ringing (pun intended) confirmation of the nature of black holes, the bottomless gravitational pits from which not even light can escape, which were the most foreboding (and unwelcome) part of his theory."

      "More generally, it means that scientists have finally tapped into the deepest register of physical reality, where the weirdest and wildest implications of Einsteinís universe become manifest."

      Editor's note: Some of this description, such as the power emitted, may be incorrect." 02-16

  4. Scientists May Have Detected Gravity Waves (
      "Gravitational waves are ripples in space-time predicted by Einsteinís theory of general relativity. It tells us that massive objects like black holes and neutron stars warp space-time around themselves, and when two such behemoths collide, the distortions ripple outward at the speed of light. Although we are pretty confident this happens, the waves themselves have never been directly measured."

      "That may be about to change."

      "The LIGO detectors, located 3000 kilometres apart in Hanford, Washington and Livingston, Louisiana, can pick up passing gravitational waves by measuring how space-time stretches and contracts Ė by as little as one ten-thousandth the diameter of a proton."

      "Models show that the signal from the merger of two neutron stars or black holes resembles a chirp, its frequency rising until a final crash. Studying the signal gives an idea of how far away the event happened and the masses of the two bodies."

      "If we had a third detector, we could triangulate the source of the signal. That will be possible later this year, when the VIRGO experiment in Cascina, Italy, comes online. But with only the twin detectors, the best we can do is gesture vaguely toward a region of the sky." 02-16


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