Presentation Title

P-35 What are gravitational waves?

Presenter Status

Department of Physics

Location

Buller Hallway

Start Date

8-11-2012 3:00 PM

End Date

8-11-2012 5:00 PM

Presentation Abstract

According to Einstein's theory of general relativity, mass curves spacetime. When the distribution of mass changes, the curvature must also change and that change spreads outwards through space like the ripples on a pond. These ripples, also called gravitational waves, are very faint. Only the most catastrophic events and massive objects in the universe are capable of producing gravitational waves of measurable strength. LIGO (the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observitory) consists of three detectors, two in Hanford, WA and one in Livingston LA, built to find gravitational waves. Once these elusive spacetime ripples are caught, they will reveal important information about their sources. With gravitational waves it will be possible to watch neutron stars and black holes collide, see into the heart of a supernova, and look back to the moment of the universe's creation. The Andrews University Gravitational Wave Group (AUGWG) members are members of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration (LSC), an international group including hundreds of physicists who work on LIGO science. Currently, the AUGWG is involved in efforts to extract signals from multi-detector data and determine what information is carried by a gravitational wave.

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Nov 8th, 3:00 PM Nov 8th, 5:00 PM

P-35 What are gravitational waves?

Buller Hallway

According to Einstein's theory of general relativity, mass curves spacetime. When the distribution of mass changes, the curvature must also change and that change spreads outwards through space like the ripples on a pond. These ripples, also called gravitational waves, are very faint. Only the most catastrophic events and massive objects in the universe are capable of producing gravitational waves of measurable strength. LIGO (the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observitory) consists of three detectors, two in Hanford, WA and one in Livingston LA, built to find gravitational waves. Once these elusive spacetime ripples are caught, they will reveal important information about their sources. With gravitational waves it will be possible to watch neutron stars and black holes collide, see into the heart of a supernova, and look back to the moment of the universe's creation. The Andrews University Gravitational Wave Group (AUGWG) members are members of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration (LSC), an international group including hundreds of physicists who work on LIGO science. Currently, the AUGWG is involved in efforts to extract signals from multi-detector data and determine what information is carried by a gravitational wave.