GW150914

When Albert Einstein passed away in 1955 he wasn’t sure anymore about the existence of Gravitational Waves, original predicted in 1916 on the basis of his theory of general relativity.

60 years later on September 14th, 2015, the LIGO ( Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory ) detectors in Hanford and Livingston registered a compression  strain of space by 10-19 meters, 1/10.000 times the diameter of a proton, through two 4 km long arms in which laser beams have been travelling back and forth 400 times, an event from now on becoming popular under its name GW150914. The event was caused by two black holes colliding 1.3 billion light years away from Earth, each having a solar mass of 30.

I always find it amazing what physicist discover these days and what complex machines they build to answer fundamental questions about the creation and existence of the universe. LIGO has cost 1.1 billion dollars and it took 40 years to build it.  Another even more famous example of such a machine is the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) built by scientists and engineers from 100 countries for 3 billion dollar – to discover the Higgs-Bosom, the last missing piece for the Standard Theory of particles.

I find it amazing what math they use and what conclusions they draw from the signals they measure, thoughts most human beings including myself never will be able to follow. They create the sort of knowledge we can only believe in, which often is just valid temporarily before it becomes overruled by new insights through even bigger and more complex machines and theories.

Source: bild der wissenschaft 4-2016

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One Response to “GW150914”

  1. kaptonok Says:

    I find it amazing that such finance and such machines can be built and operated at huge expense when we face an antibiotic apocalypse.
    I find it amazing we stand with our heads in the sky when dire situations like climate are virtually ignored down below.
    The knowledge these egg-heads seek may well be illusive but the crisis here on earth is real.


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