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Old 09-16-2017, 08:13 AM   #31
Jeorbit
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I just came across this article in French from Swiss research university EPFL about mass and gravity : https://qi.epfl.ch/question/show/314

I'm not sure how well Google Translate would do with it, but here are some interesting bits I found:

- They write about how Einstein predicted the existence of gravitational waves and their speed in 1916
- Then how we got the first proof of their existence much later, in 1974 when astronomers at Arecibo observed a binary pulsar, and found the orbital period of the two bodies were exactly as predicted by Einstein's GR. But at this stage and for the next 40 years, it was only an indirect observation.
- And then at last in September 2015 how LIGO observed spacetime distortion caused by two colliding blackholes. Several other observations were made in December 2015 and the last in January 2017.

This might not answer the "why" question, but nevertheless I feel that actually observing the warping caused by gravitational waves is a pretty big deal. Or not?

Last edited by Jeorbit; 09-16-2017 at 08:14 AM. Reason: Typo
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Old 09-16-2017, 10:19 AM   #32
Linguofreak
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeorbit View Post
 This might not answer the "why" question, but nevertheless I feel that actually observing the warping caused by gravitational waves is a pretty big deal. Or not?
Yes it is, and not least just as a feast of engineering. Now, the basic concept of a gravitational wave detector is simple enough: you just need an ear or a microphone. If you were close enough to a black hole merger, you would actually be able to hear it without special equipment. The impressive part is building a microphone sensitive enough to pick up gravitational waves from across the universe.
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