LIGO Press Conference


February the 11th was an epic day. I walked down the Infinite and couldn’t stop grinning the largest grin to myself. This was the day LIGO released their discovery of gravitational waves. I saw Matt Evans, my Quantum Physics professor as suited up and I told him, “You’re a celebrity today!”. Evans  was amongst the people heading the LIGO lab at MIT.

Here are some of the notes I took from the LIGO Press Conference at MIT.  They’re rather rudimentary.

  • Gravitational waves are oscillating tides traveling at the speed of light on the surface of spacetime.
  • Different masses create different waveforms.
  • Observed blackholes, of 36 and 29 solar masses, which merged 1 billion years ago.
  • Observations can tell us metallicity in stars that a lot smaller.
  • Change in length of interferometer = Wave amplitude * Length of interferometer
  • The change in length measured is in the order of 10**-18 m, which is about the size of a proton. Interferometer measured 4000m and wave amplitude is in the order of 10**-21 m.
  • Advanced LIGO observes distances of 0.1 to 1Gpc.
  • BICEP observes waves from the Big Bang.
Categories: Amateur Astronomy, Physics, The Universe | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

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One thought on “LIGO Press Conference

  1. LIGO had a booth at NEAF 2016. I stopped by, peppered the guy with a lot of questions and learned a lot. But I didn’t know the importance of it at the time. It wasn’t until a week or two later when I did some more reading and watched the press conference did I realize the importance of this discovery! Amazing.

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