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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2002 > Nov > Nov 1

Gravity Waves Analysis Opens 'Completely New

From: Stig Agermose <stig.agermose.nul>
Date: Fri, 01 Nov 2002 03:51:08 +0100
Archived: Fri, 01 Nov 2002 09:48:51 -0400
Subject:  Gravity Waves Analysis Opens 'Completely New

Source: SpaceDaily




Gravity Waves Analysis Opens 'Completely New Sense'

St. Louis - Oct 29, 2002


Sometime within the next two years, researchers will detect the
first signals of gravity waves - those weak blips from the far
edges of the universe passing through our bodies every second.
Predicted by Einstein's theory of general relativity, gravity
waves are expected to reveal, ultimately, previously
unattainable mysteries of the universe.

Wai-Mo Suen, Ph.D., professor of physics at Washington
University in St. Louis is collaborating with researchers
nationwide to develop waveform templates to comprehend the
signals to be analyzed. In this manner, researchers will be able
to determine what the data represent - a neutron star
collapsing, for instance, or black holes colliding.

"In the past, whenever we expanded our band width to a different
wavelength region of electromagnetic waves, we found a very
different universe," said Suen. "But now we have a completely
new kind of wave. It's like we have been used to experiencing
the world with our eyes and ears and now we are opening up a
completely new sense."

Suen discussed the observational and theoretical efforts behind
this new branch of astronomy at the 40th annual New Horizons in
Science Briefing, Oct. 27, 2002, at Washington University in St.
Louis. The gathering of national and international science
writers is a function of the Council for the Advancement of
Science Writing.

Gravity waves will provide information about our universe that
is either difficult or impossible to obtain by traditional
means. Our present understanding of the cosmos is based on the
observations of electromagnetic radiation, emitted by individual
electrons, atoms, or molecules, and are easily absorbed,
scattered, and dispersed.

Gravitational waves are produced by the coherent bulk motion of
matter, traveling nearly unscathed through space and time, and
carrying the information of the strong field space-time regions
where they were originally generated, be it the birth of a black
hole or the universe as a whole.

This new branch of astronomy was born this year. The Laser
Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) at
Livingston, Louisiana, was on air for the first time last March.
LIGO, together with its European counterparts, VIRGO and GEO600,
and the outer-bspace gravitational wave observatories, LISA and
LAGOS, will open in the next few years a completely new window
to the universe.

Supercomputer runs Einstein equation to get templates

Suen and his collaborators are using supercomputing power from
the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, to do numerical
simulations of Einstein's equations to simulate what happens
when, say, a neutron star plunges into a black hole. From these
simulations, they get waveform templates. The templates can be
superimposed on actual gravity wave signals to see if the signal
has coincidences with the waveform.

"When we get a signal, we want to know what is generating that
signal," Suen explained. "To determine that, we do a numerical
simulation of a system, perhaps a neutron star collapsing, in a
certain configuration, get the waveform and compare it to what
we observe. If it's not a match, we change the configuration a
little bit, do the comparison again and repeat the process until
we can identify which configuration is responsible for the
signal that we observe."

Suen said that intrigue about gravity waves is sky-high in the
astronomy community.

"Think of it: Gravity waves come to us from the edge of the
universe, from the beginning of time, unchanged," he said. "They
carry completely different information than electromagnetic
waves. Perhaps the most exciting thing about them is that we may
well not know what it is we're going to observe. We think black
holes, for sure. But who knows what else we might find?"

Related Links:

ESA To Look For The Missing Link In Gravity
Paris - Sep 19, 2002
Although you can never be certain of predicting future
developments in science, there is a good chance of a fundamental
breakthrough in physics soon.

Gravity at WUSTL
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