Thursday, August 20, 2009

Captain...The Interferometers Detect Nothing!

Not real sure what this article means, but I couldn't let my own limitations deprive our more intellectually inclined readers of a science story happening right here in Louisiana. Clara Moskowitz, of reports:
The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory Scientific Collaboration (LIGO) is a set of instruments in Louisiana and Washington built to search for evidence of gravitational waves, which are theoretical ripples in space-time thought to be caused by the acceleration of mass. No one has yet directly detected these waves, though they are predicted by Einstein's theory of General Relativity, and are widely thought to permeate our universe.In theory, every time mass accelerates — even when you rise up out of your chair — the curvature of space-time changes, and ripples are produced. However, the gravitational waves produced by one person are so small as to be negligible. The waves produced by large masses, though, such as the collision of two black holes or a large supernova explosion, could be large enough to be detected.

Do with that what you will. The rest of the article is here.

Photo by David R. Carroll

No comments:

Post a Comment