About Those Gravitational Waves

It was the year of 1687 when Isaac Newton published “The Principia“, which revealed the first mathematical description of gravity. Newton’s laws of motion along with his description of gravity laid before the world a revolutionary concept that could be used to describe everything from the motions of heavenly bodies to a falling apple. Newton would remain the unequivocal king of gravity for the next several hundred years. But that would all change at the dawn of the 20th century when a young man working at a Swiss patent office began to ask some profound questions. Einstein had come to the conclusion that Newtonian physics was not adequate to describe the findings of the emerging electromagnetic field theories.  In 1905, he published a paper entitled “On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies” which corrects Newton’s laws so they work when describing the motions of objects near the speed of light. This new description became known as Special Relativity.

It was ‘Special’ because it didn’t deal with gravity or acceleration. It would take Einstein another 10 years to work these two concepts into his relativity theory. He called it General Relativity – an understanding of which is necessary to fully grasp the significance of gravitational waves.

Just What Is Gravity Anyway?

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Newton’s laws describes the motions of the planets perfectly, but he never was able to say exactly what gravity was, where it came from, or what it was made of. Einstein posed to himself a simple question – what would happen to the motion of the planets if the sun were to suddenly disappear? Newtonian mechanics say the planets would start moving in straight lines the instant the Sun’s gravity was removed. But this would violate special relativity’s cosmic speed limit. For instance, the Earth would not know the Sun was gone for a full eight minutes after the fact. What could possibly keep the planets in their respective orbits after the Sun was gone?

The answer to this question would reveal the nature of gravity, and what it actually is. And it can be understood quite easily by looking very closely at the similarities between a gravitational field and the force produced by acceleration.

Tale of the Two Elevators

Einstein realized that all physical laws were true despite their frame of reference. The laws that hold true while you are at rest on the surface of the Earth also hold true for the person flying at 30,000 feet at a constant 500 miles per hour.  The outcome of experiments done on the plane and on the Earth will be the same. He wondered if the same could be said for accelerating frames and those within a gravitational field.

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Let us consider two elevators. One elevator is at rest on the Earth. The other is in deep space accelerating in an upward direction at 9.8m/s2. Is it possible for the occupants to tell the difference between the two frames of reference? If the person in the elevator on the Earth drops an apple, gravity will pull it to the floor with an acceleration of 9.8m/s2. If the person on the accelerating elevator in space does the same, the apple will move to the floor at the rate the elevator is accelerating – 9.8m/s2. Note that the rate the apple will fall is independent of its mass.

Let us now consider the same two elevators in different situations. One of them is in deep space and motionless. The other is in free fall heading toward the Earth. We now ask the same question – is it possible for the occupants to tell which elevator they’re in? When either lets the apple go, it will appear to have no force acting upon it. It will just float there. Einstein realized that the two frames of reference were equivalent. He realized the gravity that we feel on Earth was the same as the pseudo-force we would feel in the accelerating elevator. And that a lack of gravity is no different than free fall. Gravity does not exist as force the way other physical forces do. But if it’s not a force, then just what is it?

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To answer this question, let’s take another look at our pair of elevators. Let us imagine that each is equipped with a laser on one side and a detector on the opposite side. They are at identical heights from the floor. Our experiment will consist of releasing a photon from the laser and seeing where it hits on the detector. Photons have no mass, so it should not be affected by gravity. Thus carrying out the experiment in the elevator sitting on the Earth should reveal the photon striking the detector at the same height as its source. But we get a different result when carrying out the experiment on the accelerating elevator in space. The elevator is accelerating upward when the photon is released, so it must hit the detector at a lower point!

If we recognize that the two elevator environments are equivalent, we are forced to conclude that the photon in the elevator on Earth must follow a curved path. Einstein would go on to show that the presence of the Earth’s gravitational field would curve the path of the photon. He would show that gravity is not a force, but simply the geometry of space and time. The “force” that attracts massive bodies together is caused by their curvature of space and time.

Gravitational Waves

Now we know what would happen if the Sun were to suddenly vanish. The curvature of space-time caused by the Sun would spring back and ripple outward. It would send a gravitational wave moving at the speed of light barreling towards the planets. Each planet would keep moving along steadily in their orbits following the still present curvature from the Sun, blissfully ignorant of the incoming doom. Once the wave hits, the curvature is gone. Without the curved space-time to follow, the planets would follow Newtonian mechanics and head out into deep space.

This is all hypothetical of course, and so was the idea of a gravitational wave. Einstein had predicted them, but thought they would be too small to measure here on Earth. This all changed just a few days ago, when two facilities in the US managed to record the merging of two black holes that happened a billion years ago. The merge set off a cascade of gravitational waves, and we were listening.

Now that we know this phenomenon exists and is measurable, more resources will be dedicated to exploring this new field in astrophysics.

Thanks to [PyroChiliarch] for the tip!


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306 thoughts on “About Those Gravitational Waves

      1. Of course. And now that they have a hit, that work moves from research and into the plausible. We have a benchmark now, where before we were working to actualize anything meaningful at all.

        Having a successful observation changes things. It does not invalidate all the hard work to get there, but it does plant the flag, and with that comes more work and something to focus on beyond discovery.

        Now, we are in refinement and someday, exploitation.

    1. High resolution space based interferometers were designed by Robert Forward at Hughes Research in Malibu around 1970. It is more a matter of execution. Getting them off the Earth and away from all the sources of things like seismic noise would be a nice step.

        1. Dr. Forward put piezo drivers on the mirror in one arm and “modulated” the laser interference – like a dither in an ADC. He was able to achieve sub-angstrom resolutions in the lab. Long baseline in space would be spectacular.

    2. That’s the thing though, stupid journalist talk like we can make some sort of super camera soon based on this, whereas in reality that will not happen. I mean even this current setup works with deviation at subatomic level detecting incredibly massive events, You aren’t magically going to easily improve it by that much.

      1. You can’t magically improve it by that much. But you can SCIENTIFICALLY improve it. Moving the interferometer into space, making it much larger, possibly combining several interferometers. . . when you look at what they’ve done with telescopes (over the past century) moving from wooden tubes with crude hand-ground lenses, to precision made mirrors, launched into space, grouping arrays of individual telescopes, and using analytic techniques, I think it’s very likely that gravitational waves will not only be used to produce imagery, but that that imagery will become a very useful tool in astronomy in the next 100 years.

        1. We already know what’s possible with the comparatively very very VERY high frequency of light and it’s properties like refraction and such.
          The gravitational waves as I said are miniscule almost impossible to detect variations that you can’t treat like light.
          So yes we can make the pinpointing better, and get some tiny improvements, and we will, but it’ll never be like the other means of detecting like light and radio and x-ray. And talking of x-ray,

  1. So what does all this mean though?

    Well, warp drive is theoretically confirmed. While we still have no idea how to manipulate a gravitational wave , the fact we know they are real means learning to surf those waves is a real possibility .
    Time travel, is merely an engineering problem , as this literally means that as one of these pass by you are jiggling thru space AND time. Technically the day we detected this is the first confirmed case of time travel then, no? Though tiny, we have measured time wiggling back and forth ever so slightly.
    There are absolutely leaps in technical ability that are more or less confirmed with this beyond engineering difficulties that theoretically can be overcome.

    1. Gravitational waves (changes in the intensity of gravity) alter the relative rate of time (e.g. a clock at the top of Mt. Everest or in high orbit would run slightly slower than an identical clock at sea level) but not its direction. Therefore, this was not time travel, except in the sense that we are always traveling through time at 1 sec/sec. As this wave passed, we may have briefly been traveling at .999…999 or 1.000…001 sec/sec instead of our average of 1 sec/sec. Think of it as a microscopic speed fluctuation as you drive down the highway, not a back-and-forth motion through time. Gravitational waves pass through Earth all the time. This was just a large one that we (barely) saw.

      Also, while intense gravity (plus negative energy and other exotic and undemonstrated physical qualties) do factor into the “theoretically proven” (which is an oxymoron — a thing that is merely theorized. however compellingly is not yet proven. The whole point of science is to test such hypotheses) warp modalities such as the Alcubierre Warp, one main point of this experiment is that gravity itself travels at the speed of light — no faster. You might experience a decreased passage of time while surfing a gravitational wave but no one else would. If you took a round trip to a distant star, you would return many years later, as dictated by the speed of light, not mere days/weeks later as in SF.

      To put this in perspective, you might also experience a decreased personal rate of time if you traveled in suspended animation, and I think we’d all agree that’s not “warp” or “FTL” (faster-than-light travel)as it is visualized in the general culture.

      Further, since the very existence of (e.g.) negative energy/mass/etc has never been demonstrated, and such quantities may not even exist, the “theoretically proven” models of warp drive may prove to be impossible. Then again, they may turn out to exist: Dirac hypothesized antimatter by (in part) asking what would happen if the negative square root in some equations corresponded to an actual particle (the positive square root corresponds to the “usual” matter particles). Anti-particles, such as positrons (anti-electrons) were eventually produced and observed in detail.

      1. Alright , I was thinking exactly as you thought, that this was different than the pilot, or astronaut effect. ty.
        yeah that last paragraph says what i mean in a little less optimistic of a tone. We are afterall talking about what I would describe as a warp sailboat. Its technically sub warp drive. But the same way that it validates the idea of surfing the wave , it is better thought of like a sail boat , not a jetski or even outboard. Extremely limited just like i imagine early mariners thought it was sailing.

          1. To me deja vu is just a mental concept just like how time is. You’ve never been there before, it’s just your neural network (aka brain) piecing together fragmented memories that has some indirect relevance to your present geological position in reality. Your neural plasticity just won’t allow you 100% recall so it just turns out as “subtle nuance” rather then total recall. The events your experiencing right now have fractal-relevance to other times in the past during your lifespan. Even your prenatal memories are up in your brain – you just can’t access them (per se). Even memories of TV shows and memories are part of your fractal memories. So you have one of those deja vu moments. You mentally say “I feel like I’ve been here before…” – you are in the French Quarter in New Orleans LA during Mardi Gras (aka Fat Tuesday) on your field trip visit to CalTech’s LIGO-LIvingston LA. No you where NEVER in LA before! Then why is this happening to me? I dunno… but maybe you had your TV running during REM stage sleep and you’ve sleep-visited NOLA during many episodes of COPS-LA or NCIS-LA. (LOL)

            Is that Sci-Fi enuf’ for you?

        1. Aren’t there methods employed in sailing that allow for travel faster then wind speed? Could such methods be adapted to sailing the fluctuating gravitational breeze created by gravitational waves?

          1. @Mark – I think it’s called “tacking the breeze”… And yes NASA has used that technique with gravity to increase speed of a spacecraft. I think it is called “slingshot effect”. They like to do it with Jupiter to really multiply speed to next waypoint.

      2. a clock at the top of Mt. Everest or in high orbit would run slightly slower than an identical clock at sea level

        No, the other way around. Time runs slower in higher gravity.

        If you took a round trip to a distant star, you would return many years later, as dictated by the speed of light, not mere days/weeks later as in SF.

        Many years later as measured in earth’s frame of reference, but months later measured by the traveler’s reference frame. You would be younger than your identical twin who remained on earth.

          1. Yes but inertia from movement slows time faster than the relatively weak 1 g. Also interstellar showed ppl walking on a very high g planet. Care to give that a try?

          2. @[Phirzcol] – Yeah, No problem.

            Cancellation effect of waves. Similar to all of us not having seizures when a strong flare hits our planet. It can zap solid state devices sure, but Sputnik had no issues. Technically all cellular life should be zapped when the EM wave hits but it doesn’t.

            Consider this, you have a neutral iron plate attracted and has made contact with permanent moly-HD magnet just because you turn on a electro-magnet that is strong doesn’t mean the iron plate will be dislodged.

            HOWEVER, Do expect A GIANT TIDAL WAVE as the planet rotates.

            Seriously, you’ve never played with Fe in a liquid suspension?

          1. What does that have to do with anything? Time dilation due to velocity only applies in the *transverse* direction, like a Doppler shift. The satellites aren’t “coming” or “going” relative to you, so their orbital speed doesn’t matter.

  2. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. After all it did require two black holes colliding and merging to cause it. Correct me if I am wrong but one article said in that brief instant the energy released was equivalent to 50 times the rest of the universe? I have a little trouble believing that number, but never the less it took a little more power than we can produce. Hopefully this leads to developments on a much smaller scale. I can see the gravitational anomaly sensor app coming soon. Sort of. Maybe not.

    Well written article.

    1. BRighter than all the universe, but for such a short time , the guy who said that then went on to say something compared to the sun but it slipped my mind too. Agreed there are some enormous technical hurdles to realize the benefits, but where we used to have to say warp drive is theoretically possible , you could say yes now because the theory that said it was possible was confirmed.

    2. On the other hand, all of that energy released /didn’t/ go into producing gravity waves. All of the light, heat, radiation, etc wasn’t gravity waves.

      If we were somehow producing gravity waves, we would (hopefully) be more efficient.

    3. Charles, I was also rather skeptical of that 50 times the rest of the universe – until I read the bit that addidis mentioned. The combined black hole was missing 3 suns of mass. Three entire suns converted to energy!

      @nitePhyyre: All of it was released as gravity waves because it happened inside the combined event horizon of the merging black holes, so regular electromagnetic waves (radio waves, heat, light, microwaves, x-rays) couldn’t escape.

      To get an idea of the shear magnitude involved – the detector started picking up the signal when the two black holes (each about 30 times our sun) were orbiting 10 times per second.

      1. Well, not quite. That’s a bit of poor scientific wording. It didn’t convert *rest* mass to energy. It basically just converted kinetic/potential energy to energy, and they were moving so stupidly fast that that energy was a good fraction of their rest mass. The scientists/article/etc. just tended to treat mass/energy the same, since, well, at that point, it basically is. So you say something like “one had 40 solar masses, the other had 30 solar masses, and you end up with a black hole of 67 solar masses, so 3 solar masses were radiated as gravitational waves.” (numbers made up, I don’t remember off the top of my head).

        But really, the “40 solar masses/30 solar masses” weren’t rest masses.

        ” All of it was released as gravity waves because it happened inside the combined event horizon ”

        No. Absolutely not. *Nothing* can propagate from the inside of the event horizon, *not even a gravitational wave*.

        The energy was released as gravitational waves because the energy was lost due to the fact that gravity has to move at the speed of light. It’s exactly the same reason that an accelerating charge produces an electromagnetic wave (albeit via a quadrupole), and very similar to the effects of Cherenkov radiation and a sonic boom.

        1. @Pat – You know you are my new personal hero HOWEVER – “No. Absolutely not. *Nothing* can propagate from the inside of the event horizon, *not even a gravitational wave*.:

          You need to Google Hawking Radiation and Quantum Tunneling.

          NEXT: If the last part of your sentence where true then how did the GW get from Andromeda to us in 2016? Well the most likely answer is GW can supposedly do this when the BH is decaying – theoretically at least. In this case these two particular BH’s were evidently decaying after merging (maybe one of them or both may have decayed). They were detected leaking gamma rays in 2007 and evidently detected leaking GW in 2016 – even though just like a time machine they were actually doing it many eons ago.

          Here’s a conundrum for you (and everybody else): If the theoretical impetus of the formation of a BH is a star collapsing under it’s own gravity, what’s so hard to believe GW’s can escape it’s EH just like neutrinos (and some other subatomic QT’ers)?

          Neutrinos have no trouble with BH’s or anything else. I know that’s a different argument. But neutrinos are mass-less and CHARGE-LESS so I can’t see how a BH can even grab it. It’s like a ghost to a BH (IMO). Even the huge underground vats of perc neutrino detectors here on Earth really don’t even touch neutrinos. You are only seeing (via photo-diode) a photon that may have been impacted by a stray neutrino, but it never got stopped, grabbed, deflected, etc. They can pass through the center of the Earth. It’s parent carrier NEUTRONS may not be so lucky with BH’s however.

          GW – gravity wave
          EH – Event Horizon of a BH
          BH – black hole
          QT – Quantum Tunneler
          perc – dry cleaning fluid nickname (perchloroethylene)

          1. Well, I’ve read Hawking’s paper on it. Does that count? I’m pretty sure it’s clearer than googling for it, which is pretty awful.

            Hawking radiation doesn’t propagate from inside the event horizon. It’s emitted *from* the event horizon. And it’s not like we understand Hawking radiation at all, because it comes from just inferring some quantum behavior that must be necessary into a purely classical (GR) theory.

            This is in fact why the information paradox is a problem, because from GR, information (entropy!) gets sucked up by the black hole. And it’s also why I didn’t mention it – because quantum gravity doesn’t work. So trying to believe that objects can tunnel out of a black hole, right now, is naive. It’s entirely possible that quantum gravity will just blow up *the entire idea* of black holes.

            So I’m just talking about the classical GR behavior of a black hole.

            “what’s so hard to believe GW’s can escape it’s EH just like neutrinos (and some other subatomic QT’ers)?”

            Neutrinos can’t escape an event horizon. I have no idea where you got that idea.

            “Neutrinos have no trouble with BH’s or anything else. I know that’s a different argument. But neutrinos are mass-less and CHARGE-LESS so I can’t see how a BH can even grab it.”

            I’m not sure where to begin. Light is massless and chargeless, but black holes grab them. Neutrinos have energy. (They also do have mass, so I have no idea where you got the idea that they’re massless, but hell, let’s just follow your logic and pretend they’re massless). Mass and energy both cause and are affected by gravity: that’s part of the huge advantage of general relativity: Newtonian gravity just relates to *mass,* but general relativity comes from the stress energy tensor.

          2. How could you “know” that? Present science says they are mass-less. Maybe your right because the dry cleaning fluid vat detectors in deep salt mines TEND to work implying that there may be some sort of mass to deflect a photon off into a detector. However, the deflecting photon may be caused by something else. WHAT that is no one really knows. I personally think if a BH sucked in some NEUTRONS the neutrinos would quantum tunnel out the sides like it was even there. I do not know if they could cruise pass the event horizon as it is a big unknown not just for me but everybody else too. That’s why neutrinos can’t be used for communications as how could you modulate them. Not even Morse Code. They pass through anything you could think of.

          3. @Pat – Where did I get that thought about neutrinos being mass-less?

            “Solar neutrino problem
            Starting in the late 1960s, several experiments found that the number of electron neutrinos arriving from the Sun was between one third and one half the number predicted by the Standard Solar Model. This discrepancy, which became known as the solar neutrino problem, remained unresolved for some thirty years. It was resolved by discovery of neutrino oscillation and mass. (The Standard Model of particle physics had assumed that neutrinos are mass-less and cannot change flavor. However, if neutrinos had mass, they could change flavor, or oscillate between flavors).”

            So I guess I stand corrected as I may be too OLD SCHOOL and I believed in the Standard Model.

            This part I still do believe:
            “Neutrinos, named as such because they are electrically neutral, are leptons, and so are not affected by the strong force either. The weak force is a very short-range interaction, and gravity is extremely weak on the subatomic scale. Thus, neutrinos typically pass through normal matter unimpeded and undetected.”

            This next part is me bringing the mountain to Pat…
            Warning lot’s of reading here… at least 10 paragraphs! However, it explains my postings on the subject matter…

            Can Anything Escape from a Black Hole?
            Byline: Natalie Wolchover | November 15, 2011 | Livescience.com
            Here on Earth, students of beginner’s-level quantum mechanics learn that in the subatomic world, no barrier is insurmountable. Elementary particles (such as photons and electrons) aren’t like bouncy balls that, when thrown at a wall, ricochet off it; they’re more like ghosts . Barriers encourage these ghostly particles to stay mostly within a given area, but occasionally the particles will pass right through them. This strange behavior is called “quantum tunneling,” and not even black holes are immune to it.

            Crawling out of holes

            According to Andew Hamilton, an astrophysicist at the University of Colorado, the horizon of a black hole is an insurmountable barrier for the likes of us humans and, indeed, anything else larger than an atom. But every once in a while, a subatomic particle manages to pass through it. Thus, it is believed that all black holes emit an incredibly faint glimmer of stuff, named “Hawking radiation” after Stephen Hawking, the physicist who first theorized its existence in the 1970s.

            “Classically, there’s no way that any radiation is going to escape from a black hole,” Hamilton told Life’s Little Mysteries. “Inside the horizon, space is falling faster than light, so nothing can emerge from it without traveling faster than light the other way. But quantum mechanically, there’s some possibility that something inside can tunnel out.”

            Doing so requires very special conditions, however.

            As well as allowing quantum tunneling, quantum mechanics allows particles to randomly pop into existence. In fact, such “quantum fluctuations” happen all the time: Particle-antiparticle pairs spontaneously arise from the vacuum of space (and usually immediately annihilate each other).

            For a particle to escape a black hole, a quantum fluctuation must occur near a black hole’s edge. When this happens, sometimes one particle will tunnel out before the annihilation can take place. Its partner immediately gets “spaghettified” by the black hole elongated as it plunges to the center.

            In order for this dramatic separation to happen, the particles produced in the quantum fluctuation must have very long wavelengths. Strange as it may sound, quantum mechanics says that all particles, as we usually refer to them, are also waves, and thus they have wavelengths that describe the distance between their successive peaks. The slower a given particle/wave is moving, the longer its wavelength.

            Particles that are produced by quantum fluctuations and that have “wavelengths that are comparable to the size of the black hole are able to tunnel out,” Hamilton said. “This is because they cannot be localized they’re fuzzy.” To use the earlier analogy, these particles are especially ghostlike. Their huge wavelengths make them free to roam in domains that extend beyond the boundary of the black hole.

            “Hawking radiation has a characteristic wavelength which is comparable to the size of the horizon of the black hole,” Hamilton said. In the case of the black hole that is at the center of our Milky Way galaxy , particles tunneling out from it have wavelengths approximately 14 times the radius of our sun. For supermassive black holes, particles must have wavelengths billions of suns long in order to tunnel out. [Infinity Symbol Found at Center of Milky Way ]

            Darn dim

            As you may have guessed, there aren’t a whole lot of particles that fit the criteria required to escape black holes.

            Even the brightest holes (which are the smallest ones, because these have less gravity and therefore allow more particles to escape) are “pretty darn dim,” Hamilton said. The Hawking radiation from a small, 30-sun-size black hole is just one billion-trillion-trillionth as bright as a 100-watt light bulb.

            This radiation is completely swamped by light from other bright objects in space, and so scientists have not yet managed to detect Hawking radiation. Nonetheless, they’re sure it exists. “Hawking radiation is considered one of the most robust predictions of quantum gravity,” Hamilton said.

          4. OK, first: it doesn’t matter if neutrinos have mass or not. They’re real particles that carry energy. Therefore they’re affected by gravity. They follow the same worldlines that photons do. Of course they get affected by a black hole. Photons don’t have mass either, but they still follow worldlines warped by a black hole. Neutrinos can’t escape a black hole.

            Second: it is pointless to talk about quantum effects on a black hole with any certainty. You keep bringing up quantum effects (tunneling, and even Hawking radiation which requires a quantum vacuum), and like I said, I’m just talking specifically about a *classical* black hole, because quantum gravity doesn’t work. Could things tunnel out of a black hole? Sure, maybe! But I dunno, maybe winged fairies from another Universe could pop out of a black hole too.

            It’s like arguing about how a first contact with aliens would proceed. You can talk about it all you want, and people can justify talking about it (and getting paid to talk about it), but in the end, without any idea of a way to even *frame the discussion*, it’s all pointless. Our lack of knowledge regarding quantum gravity is so huge that if I were a betting man, I would say in 100 years that physicists will chuckle at the idea that gravity could ever get that strong.

            We have no observational evidence for black holes. We only have observational evidence of massive compact objects, so compact that we don’t know of any force which could support them, but that doesn’t mean that what we now call “black holes” are just made out of imaginarium or something.

            So I’m *just* talking about classical black holes. Which might not exist, making all of this discussion pointless.

      1. So interestingly I read that there are two kinds of research, the LFGW or low frequency gravitational waves, and the HFGW one, and that one is mostly done by the italians and the chinese I’m told.
        Now the researchers mention this:
        “The very speculative, but potentially most important practical HFGW applications include communications, ultra accurate global positioning, surveillance (especially of underground and underwater sites), induced nuclear fusion and mass disruptor beams, remote propulsion, etc.”

        Did you notice the “mass disruptor beams”? :o

        Maybe it’s all malarkey though.

        Anyway here’s a (western) link http://www.gravwave.com/mission-statement.htm

        I think TV journalists will be kicking themselves now that they missed that, because that’s the kind of stuff that will get people talking.

    1. Don’t need to do that as you have no business need for such a detector. How would GW detection help you UNLESS you were an astrophysicist. If that were true then it would be a simple matter of adding a Arduino to the GW detector on big ones at LIGO LA and WA, feed it into a Wi-Fi shield, then into the Internet at the CalTech field building. Then all you need on your SmartPhone is an Google Play app to monitor the LIGO live streaming feed. But if you aren’t an astrophysicist why would you give a da**? And who would pay for it. Hmmmm… maybe CalTech? Maybe…

  3. The disappearing Sun thought experiment is unfortunately useless and though common, is an example that should be avoided. You can’t disappear the Sun at greater than the speed of light. Using a physically impossible example leads to generalizations that can’t be tested or verified, meaning you can’t know if they are true. And coming from a nonsense assumption, why bother?

    The waves are not just variations in gravity. You can get that by shaking a bowling ball back and forth or flying over a mountain range. A gravitational wave comes from an event with a “quadrapole moment” and they are not so common. One with very large masses moving quickly relative to each other is apparently not that frequent in the local universe. Of course, space-based higher resolution’s detectors may show they are all over the place!

  4. So the energy was released as gravity waves. How does this not prove negative energy? I why couldn’t all matter theoretically be transformed into gravity waves in the way the “released 50 solar masses” were? Is this the same as the heat death of the universe – everything turning to gravity waves?

  5. Ok, dumb question incoming.

    Do gravitational waves transmit energy? My line of thinking is that a large moving object, that creates gravity waves, would be losing energy, and therefore slowing down. Is it possible for items thrown into space to slowly lose momentum to the gravitational wave they are creating? As opposed to the current view we all have that they would continue forever unless interrupted by something.

    1. Yes they do carry energy. The spinning stars or black holes* loose energy and eventually merge. Or whatever you would call it when event horizons meet and greet. Pretty dramatic but dangerous to view at close range :-)

      *There are those who claim there are no black holes, because from our perspective they take infinite time to form. True black holes or not, they are massive enough to behave like the theory says they should – so far.

    2. This is the very opposite of a stupid question: it is a very intelligent question and has a very good answer. Gravitiational waves have now been detected /directly/, but previously they had been /inferred/ by just this effect. A binary star is known whose two elements are gradually spiralling closer together exactly because they are radiating energy via gravitational waves. Before the recent discovery, this was the best evidence that gravitational waves exist.

    3. To answer the second part of your question, an object thrown into empty space and left to move uniformly would not lose its momentum to gravitational waves. It requires an acceleration of mass to produce GWs, which will then carry away a small amount of energy and momentum, so your current view is still correct.

      The fundamental reason for this is due to the “relativity” part in General Relativity. The laws of motion are the same in all reference frames. There is no real difference between a ball sitting still and a ball moving uniformly (in “an inertial reference frame”), just as in Newtonian mechanics. An interesting (and mind-boggling) consequence of GR is that acceleration and gravity are basically the same thing, so it’s accelerating mass that is the source of gravitational waves.

  6. One thing I don’t understand. It says that they detected the gravity waves from 2 particular black holes colliding about a billion years ago. How did they know they need to wait for this event, when light did not come to Earth yet? Related to this, gravity waves are supposed to be faster than light, right?

        1. No, it won’t. “Spooky action at a distance” just comes about from poor understanding of relativistic quantum mechanics and what things “are.”

          The world has advanced since the 1930s, sadly, science journalism has not.

      1. Dr. Ron Mallet Physics Professor of UCONN dot EDU proposes that he can send a message back one second in time via a Gauge Boson inside of a ring-laser configuration. That would kinda’ sorta’ be like FTL in a round about way (pun intended) if you believe him. He is dabbling in “time travel” and he is not a nut. Google him…

        Think about it before you reply… :-)

        1. You are confusing the concept of time vs duration. Time is non existent. Duration is a measure of interval. Time travel is not possible. Unless you find a way to null inertial mass buildup. Even then you could break the light barrier but your perceived time( duration of measurement) internal vs externally would have seemed to stop. Not actual time. Only time relative to two measured bodies.

          1. @Phirzcol – Not sure you were addressing me. However, you are preaching to the choir.

            What I said about “duration” was not from me. I read somewhere that the originators of the space time phrase did not mean OUTER SPACE vacuum for “space” and did not mean “time travel” for time. IIRC it meant material space in x-dimensions and the time a material object and it’s space exists over time (or simply “duration” aka “interval”). But you get no argument from me that time is non-existent because it is true. And the same goes for time travel (TT).

            However, we can do a workaround technique but just doesn’t involve us physically being there. What am I talking about? EX: Simply looking up into outer space at night, playing a DVD or VCR, or Voyager (X) (or deep sapce Hubble Jr.?) looking back at Earth and seeing it as it was a few hours ago. ( I have another TT-idea involving virtual presence and adhoc bit-player actors in period costume not unlike Sturbridge Village and Plymouth Plantation both in MA (USA) – you just dial up the time period throughout history or even the likely future, pay the bill, and wait 24 hours for the live action over your Internet connected live streaming Oculus Rift. Your VR avatar moves physically around for you at the actual studio site. Only for the unusually rich like Donald Trump?)

            Dr. Mallet says he can do it by -1 second with a gauge boson in a ring laser passing through a frame dragging nano crystal (name?). I don’t believe him as TT is not possible. I think he is witnessing something else. I feel the same way about time dilation experiments. Both are just something us mere mortals don’t quite understand fully yet – much like dark matter/energy.

    1. No, gravity travels at the speed of light, that’s one of the conclusions that must come from special relativity, and part of what drove Einstein to come up with a theory of gravity i.e. the general theory of relativity. We knew that the event that was detected was 2 black holes colliding a billion years ago because we’d have seen it with other sensing apparatus.

      1. What I’d very much like to see explained, is how gravity waves are able to escape the event horizon of a black hole, which prevents anything else travelling at light speed from escaping.

        1. There are some things that can escape a black hole… look up quantum tunneling and Hawking radiation… Also I am not sure but in 2007 the LIGO (or pre LIGO) team detected gamma-rays from these two objects in Andromeda. I understand that gamma ray flashes can come from evaporating primordial black holes.

          1. Or simply point out the pole effect. The black hole flattens as it spins and gravity allows X-ray’s to be given off at the pole just enough erosion of the even horizon to me higher energy stuff escape as it converts from mass to energy. Also hawking radiation is suspect. As is his until a few years ago idea that information is lost in a back hole. You could measure gravitational fluctuation as a sum of information (mass) that goes into the black hole. Just not on a human time scale. Hawking radiation is nothing more than the loss of energy associated with gravitational drag on the black hole.

          2. @Phirzco – “Or simply point out the pole effect. The black hole flattens as it spins and gravity allows X-ray’s to be given off at the pole just enough erosion of the even horizon to me higher energy stuff escape as it converts from mass to energy. ”

            Thank you! I was wracking my brain trying to remember that black hole x-ray thing. I know it has a name but I can’t think of it. I see in my brain an artist’s concept of a circle in the center (the BH) with flares going both ways from it’s poles (the x-rays escaping).

            CHANGING THE SUBJECT A BIT: You just have to adore this Disney trailer from 1979 about a BH theoretical human-mission: https://youtu.be/qzUJJKDa558

    2. No one has made a definitive measurement though there are a couple of apparatus invented to measure the speed of gravity dating from the 1970’s. A good working one has yet to be built. For most of that time it was considered irrelevant and obvious that the speed of gravity is the speed of light. Then a debate broke out among physicist-philosophers 15 or 20 year ago – one group thinks it is infinite (not gravity waves, but gravity, like detecting that something has simply moved from one place to another – and the demand began to grow for an actual measurement.

    3. They didn’t know they had to wait for this event. The detectors are set up to look in all directions at all times. Either they got lucky that a rare event happened, or these events aren’t as rare as we would have otherwise assumed.

    4. I personally think L.I.G.O. was setup in Louisiana and state of Washington after observing suspect binary systems in outer space (short gamma ray bursts not light). And then they just got lucky in 2016. These two black holes probably were observed getting too familiar with each other years before (February 2007 | GRB 070201 | Andromeda Galaxy).

      LIGO is essentially a laser been inside a very long L-shaped conduit building that bounces off of mirrors and splitters to make a very sensitive vibration sensor (0.1 to 5 Hz). The 2nd site is identical and since it’s around 1900 miles away it eliminates and local vibrations of trucks, cars, thunder storms, etc. Also they can get a fix on the source by the length in time difference.

      I never heard of gravity waves being FTL. Where did you get that?

      I also would like to read where EXACTLY Einstein mentioned anything particular about this specific subject matter in his theory of GR. He may have been vague about it but I never read it specifically. Also why does every one think SPACE-TIME means OUTER space and time TRAVEL? Doesn’t it mean dimensional-space and time-duration? Or the space you (et al) occupy and how long it exists?

      Time travel should be impossible as time does not actually exist in a tangible transient way because it is nothing more than the sentient conscious realization of the passing of circumstantial events in reality. How can you physically “travel” in a mental concept? So concepts like time frame dragging made famous by UCONN’s Dr. Mallet seem illogical. Also the NASA experiments in time dilation SEEM to point to something unusual in “time” but could it be an error in situational analysis of the circumstantial data? It’s not the first time a sea-change was proven wrong later (i.e. size of universe?). I think we trust scientists conclusion without question – too much.

      In in conclusion – why do we think gravity waves can not be interrupted like neutrinos? That means we must not be aware of the recent stunning work of Dr Eugene Podkletnov (allegedly at BaE and formerly Boeing) and Dr. Ning Li (formerly of NASA and now US ARMY Redstone Arsenal). They both allegedly independently proved that gravity waves can be interrupted with high-speed rotational ceramics in liquid He. Interrupted so much to achieve localized weightlessness.Dr. Podkletnov went on to prove that the effect can be reversed to cause gravitational repulsion. Citations are in Google searches so please don’t ask for them.


      1. Thanks. Your explanation is that they were observing those holes before they merged, so they were waiting. This immediately implies that gravity waves travel at the speed of light or at a similar speed. IF those waves were actually from that event.

        1. Yes. The LIGO team CLAIMS they “triangulated” the gravity waves with the 2 LIGO devices separated by almost 1,900 miles earlier this month and arrived at Andromeda Galaxy where these two objects were eons ago – but detected by them flashing gamma-rays in 2007. I’m not sure “triangulation” was the right word for what they did but English semantics seems to not be scientists strong point. That’s why us lay people get so confused by their wordy “loan-word” faux-pas riddled technical explanations. I find the new Intuit Turbo-Tax US adverts (tax preparation commercials with William Shatner narrating) with top scientists like Dr. Smoot and Dr Kaku belittling us American dullards who can’t simply push a simple button on an app is quite insulting. It’s amazing that they can’t condescend a little and break down their lofty syntax to allow us benighted ones to understand their vaunted theories.https://youtu.be/kqinSvgeJQI

      2. “I also would like to read where EXACTLY Einstein mentioned anything particular about this specific subject matter in his theory of GR. He may have been vague about it but I never read it specifically.”

        Einstein & Rosen, 1937, J. Frankl. Inst., 223, 43.

        1. I think the recent citing by the LIGO team about Einstein is a bit confusing to some. i refer to the STICKY BEAD ARGUMENT which you can read about here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sticky_bead_argument It appears that some things said by Einstein and Rosen might be a bit different than what was credited to them. After reading the article I am leaning more toward Richard Feynman as the one. However, the semantics of these people is so confusing to laymen like me. I dunno…

          1. No, it’s definitely Einstein who predicted them first. The problem came in understanding exactly how gravitational waves *interact* with matter. If they actually convey energy, they’re real. If they don’t, then they’re just an artifact of the coordinate systems used. Einstein was actually *right* straight from the beginning, but it took a while to realize it due to coordinate system issues.

            The sticky bead argument, fully described by Feynman, just established clearly that gravitational waves do impart energy, so they’re definitely real. But this had been shown previously, just not as definitively.

            The math for GR is stupidly-hard, so there are a lot of stops and starts along the way. But it’s definitely correct to say that Einstein predicted them first. It just took a while to show that you can’t make them go away due to coordinate transformations (like you can do for the coordinate singularity at an event horizon, for instance, showing that there’s nothing particularly special about the spacetime at the event horizon).

          2. @Pat – Why are you leaving out Nathan? It was a joint effort between the two men. I guess it’s not noteworthy that both of them did a “double-reversal” on this so-called prediction. When people do that, TO ME at least, it seems that they really are not sure about their conjecture (aka “gravity waves are really real” prediction). So that’s why I would like to be more objective about the Einstein-Rosen GW Prediction. That’s why I feel more comfortable to downplay Einstein in favor of Feynman. I know that is “sacrilegious” of me but I’m relatively sure Albert would agree with me if he were still alive. That’s if his neural plasticity was still up to par in 2016. He’d be 136-years old… beating Yisrael Kristal who is 113 this Sept…. :-)

        2. @Pat – Now I am not criticizing you as you tend to agree with me on most things :-) However, I want to address this to EVERYBODY not just you. When scientists speak of “spacetime”, I am conjecturing that they are having trouble speaking “dullard-speak” (aka hypo-intellectual-semantics or H.I.S.). When they say SPACE they mean the space a material thing takes up in the real word (dimensions?). TIME they mean the duration or linear existence of said object in the real world. In the majority of OUTER SPACE their is a vacuum (not everywhere I know!). So there is NOTHING to interact with or stretch into a ridiculous looking H.I.S. plane with an imaginary gravity sink hole in the center – per se. TIME can not be frame dragged or otherwise impacted by gravity or anything else. Why? Because it doesn’t really exist as a material thing. It’s not material, therefore intractable. It’s just a sentient mental concept of the passing of events. So scientists tend to speak in MISNOMERS. I know you said “elitist”. I would not agree with that as it sounds a little too harsh as a motive for their Misnomer-Speak.

          It may well be just that they are not that educated on English semantics as others. Their formal education is very focused and some things are gaps for them. And if some scientists throughout history are autodidacts (like myself san scientist) then that just introduces an all new mindset. Autodidacts are just the sum of their knowledge base minus the gaps. And the gaps can be many! S o to say they are being elitist is kinda’ sorta’ over-the-top. I don’t think they mean to sound elitist or egotistical. It just appears that way when they get into all of that brain-hurting wordiness peppered with stupidly-hard Calculus.

          I don’t think Newton meant for Calculus to be so hard for laypersons. It’s just the meaning of the variables I think. I think if more sciencey-types should include a KEY LEGEND for their variables when they express it on paper or the web, the remaining maths should be a cinch! I actually get Calculus I just have difficulty with the meaning some of the variables and some symbols but not many. I also just learned that (x+y)^2 means to square the parenthetical first then square the rest next. That was a maths gap for me as I did not finish university like Tesla et al.

          1. Also I can not stand when someone adamantly speaks in absolutes (including myself – self-hatred is OK I think :-] ) More people (me too) should always caveat their sentences during proof-reading before hitting [POST COMMENT]. When stating something that is just a unproven “theory” with no empirical evidence (not even circumstantial) should NEVER start off a sentence like: “Einstein said this that or the other and it is true that…” or some other specious assumption generally accepted by only SIG’s as true just because somebody venerated by a SIG said it. The SIG’s venerate Dr. Stephen Hawking. I appreciate their hero worship as he is arguably worthy. However, I would not unquestionably accept EVERYTHING he has said as “cast-in-stone” truth about a subject matter. And recently I am starting to have doubts his ALS-inspired artificial pontifications are solely his own and not just some student or partner off scene typing furiously. His recent “articulations” that seem so atheist in a complete reversal of past articulations about the subject matter just makes me suspicious. Even Einstein is posthumously being designated as an atheist too (which he was not).

            SIG = Special Interest Group
            How to caveat a sentence: IMHO or IMO
            ALS: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Lou Gehrig’s Disease or MND in Europe et al

          2. No, spacetime really really is a real thing. It’s called that because you can twist, warp, and deform it, because space is defined by a 4-dimensional metric that’s curved due to the distribution of matter and energy.

            The interior of a black hole does that. It actually completely exchanges the role of time and the radial coordinate: so it’s perfectly possible to encounter objects that fell into the black hole millions of years ago, or even millions of years in the future, but it’s impossible to move away from the singularity.

      3. Time travel may be impossible. However, if you make an approximation for a less than infinite length cylinder with density of neutron star stuff, and spin it like a baton so the ends are a good fraction of the speed of light, what is called frame dragging gets pretty intense. The notion is that as you move towards the center of rotation, your pace dimensions take on components of the time dimension and moving in space locally is moving in time for distant observers.

        I recall the title of the seminal paper was close to Massive Rotating Cylinders and the Possibility of Global Causality Violation. Something like that any way. Larry Niven wrote a short story based on the idea after meeting the author IIRC.

        1. This sounds familiar to me. I remember reading something like this about PULSARS. Something like how a playground merry go round. It spins at the core but the outer valance spins at same rate but covers more distance. Some would say that the pulsar results are FTL. Brain is hurting again! :-)

        2. If you could make a machine that “rewound” matter to a previous configuration, that might be a type of time machine, but it seems the machine would have to avoid “rewinding” its own matter. … I am also of the belief that time is a mental construct, and that the theories of relativity, while computing a better result than Newtonian mechanics, that “time” does not change, and question if length and mass change, other things may be happening.

          1. Albert Einstein did not do well in school. However, we are hanging on his every word as if he was some demigod of science. Albeit, he and others close to him where very smart people. However, I can not believe their thinking was infallible like the rest of us mere mortals.Any one that would say anything slighting Newton’s theories is down a peg in my estimation. I don’t know how ANY human can make a absolute adamant statement about their pet theories without the slightest empirical evidence is baffling (i.e. string theory, multiverse, etc.) FWIW Newton invented calculus (and Leibniz separately). This man was the TRUE genius. Hated his wigs though (LOL)

          2. @sonofthunderboanerges you seem hung up on hero worship more than the simple fact one person was more correct than the other one. Newton was correct given the ability to imagine the results presented to him at the time he lived. Einstein had the advantage of living in an age of fast up and down travel whereas Newton only had around 40 mile an hour lateral speeds and nothing coming close to fast vertical travel except falling. Newton didn’t have anything to go on other than falling objects when he calculated gravity and tried to quantize it’s effects. Einstein had years of later observations to reveal the inaccuracies of Newtons theory and faster vertical travel to help him realize the need to delve further into the cause of the effects of gravity. both men were brilliant, school being nothing more than a training academy for social interaction in roughly 95% of what is taught is no measure of intelligence or critical thinking or creativity. Schools by their very nature limit critical thinking and creativity in favor of rote learning and memorization skills and being good in school is no measure of brilliance

          3. @wetwareinterface – Ok ok I will concede that I am really enamored by Sir Newton (allegedly for good reason). However, “worship” is a tad harsh assumption. I’m wondering if others are not HERO WORSHIPING Albert Einstein et al. Although I feel Richard Feynman should get most of that so-called “love” – even though he had trouble with hypo-intellectual-semantics too (i.e. trying to dumb down invisible lines of magnetic force for the benighted masses). For some reason I feel, albeit for esoteric reasons, that all those Einstein “thought experiments” and calculus he used were derivative. Derivative from whom – I have no evidence for you. I guess it’s just a deep-seated intuition and I’m not even a female :-)

            Don’t you find it suspicious that people like Einstein (from his SIG) got more “press” than true contemporary geniuses like the Bose gene-pool from India? There were plenty of people not like Einstein in any way that got no press at all for their unsung achievements. And Einstein never used his so-called genius to make anything with his hands. And no he did not really invent a refrigerator. His Hungarian partner Leo did all the “legwork” per se.

            FWIW and FYI I’m not trying to demote Einstein the way Tyson and his ilk demoted Pluto. I am just trying to remain objective about his so-called “great achievements”. I would like to take the SIG-inspired hero worship out of the equation and bring him down to us mere mortal dullards. I think before his death in 1955 he really desired this too. I don’t think he was into the Einstein-hype (aka hyperbole) as the his SIG, USG, and the public at large were.

            I like Einstein as he proved to be a real humanist in 1955 when he tutored that little African-American girl with her school work in NJ. That actually moved me. However, I would like to see more press and USG recognition of non-SIG people of different ethnicity. Like the people this month is dedicated to, Newton, Percival Lowell, Feynman, all the Boses, many unsung Russians, etc.

            HUMOR – re: Russians – On an episode of TBBT (youtu . be/WmR1QRGeBV4 remove spaces) – Dr. Sheldon Cooper was bested by a lowly Russian janitor at CalTech. Turns out the janitor was an unsung ex-Soviet physicist from the 1980’s. He knew what this Feynman Diagram pr equation shown below was – and the “great” Dr. Sheldon Cooper didn’t..

            SIG – special interest group
            USG – US government
            et al – Latin for and others
            Legwork – physical work
            per se – Latin for kinda’ sorta’
            TBBT – The Big Bang Theory

        3. Um sure but you are forgetting the whole relative part. The idea is a mind game not real life. The big e stated his argument as such. Imagine that you have a set of rings each one spinning twice as fast as tie one inside it. You could never step to outer rings to reach tie speed of light. Inertial mass gets in the way. It’s a way of saying spinning something to the speed of light results in a singularity. In which you become a pancake.

          1. @Phirzcol – I love your thought process. This reminds me of my childhood when “inertia mass” was like speaking with an ET alien about how analog TV used to work (BTW the reason why they could not be monitoring the video part).

            My dad rented a moving truck-van to move some big stuff to the house. As we were going down this dirt road I had the van door open. I was watching the ground go by at speed. As he slowed down the van near our house, the ground now seemed tame to me. I wanted to just jump out and get to work prepping the house for our delivery (opening/propping the door for him). So without the Laws of Inertia in my brain I just jumped out thinking that I could just hit the road running… GUESS AGAIN!!! Can anyone guess what happened next? Not pretty… What’s the opposite of not-embarrassed? Well that’s not what I was…

            “PANCAKE”? Is that before or after you are stretched and disintegrated into carbon-dust at the event horizon?

      4. The problem with telling people to go to Google to find the relevant citations is that you’re telling people who don’t know sufficient information about the subject to filter the small amount of useful information out of all the crap that is out there. By virtue of them not knowing about the subject, they can’t do what you’re telling them to do. You’re the relative subject expert in this conversation, so your citations are what would be important (not whatever crap my GoogleFu may find).

          1. Unfortunately, referring to Google Scholar results has the same limitations as just referring to Google results. When tackling a new subject, one might have to read a few hundred academic papers before one is able to get a good idea of what is really going on.

          2. Fortunately Wikipedia allows the hash tag method to point you to a specific subtopic like wikipedia . com /Physics#History (case sensitive). Google’s YouTube allows you to go to a specific time-stamp in the Share function. Also if you use the URL suffix &num=100 on Google searches you can get 100 page hits displayed rather than numbered pages.Then use keyboard CTRL-F to find keyword on page. Also try site:url to focus on one specific website.

        1. Well I try to cite the relevant stuff from Google searches in my postings. But when I think that the search results will be intuitive or self-explanatory, I tend to say Go Google it. This saves me carpal tunnel and ADD boredom copying and pasting stuff. I try not to tell people to do it when the subject matter is too vague or too diverse. You’re right that would require filtering-acumen of some people. I tend to overlook that some people can’t do that. I’ve learned recently from a dyslexic friend that she doesn’t appreciate my hand written notes as it requires a special filtering acumen or parsing she just does not have to get through all my logorrhea. I tend to not like to leave anything to chance interpretations of my written thoughts. That just makes my notes too long. I also try not to clutter up a posting with resolved JPEGs and YouTubes – using just unresolved URLs.

  7. Going to toss this in here to see if anyone can comment constructively: https://www.analogsf.com/0910/altview_10.shtml

    This article presents an alternative theory to the General Theory of Relativity. Supposedly it addresses all the same issues of GR but reaches some different conclusions. One of the interesting ones is the direction that gravitational waves are emitted. Detecting waves would answer this question at some point.

    The author, Cramer, wrote the article anticipating that the waves would be detected by the time Analog readers would see it. I’m never quite sure of the validity of these ‘Alternate Views”.

  8. That first image is probably incorrect and I am not sure if anyone who has commented actually understands why the wave was created at a detectable amplitude either.

    Everything that changes velocity generates a gravitational wave, everything. But not everything that moves, do you see the difference?

    So who can tell me what actually caused the gravitational amplitude change? Hint: “causality limit”
    Extra points for explaining the actual wave shape fully.

      1. The wave envelope is due to relativistic limits on acceleration causing mass to effectively increase at an exponential rate. As was clearly pointed out in the discussions here, ALREADY. So if you can’t be bothered reading what has already been written it is back to your troll cave for you.

  9. “Now that we know this phenomenon exists and is measurable, more resources will be dedicated to exploring this new field in astrophysics” so many commentators talking about the gravitational waves, and I think you’re the first one to say it directly.

    I sit there willing people to say or write it, but it never works.

    Good job.

      1. Most of the stuff on that site is bull, I agree. However this detector should be easy to construct and test. It was even published in an electronic magazine once in the 1980-ies.

    1. The smaller the area of space the greater the accuracy required to detect any changing difference between 2 or more of it’s dimensions. i.e. For volumes of space smaller than those measured in kilometres on gravitational curves that we can access space is effectively always flat and invariant.

        1. The universe has a finite resolution and is noisy at the quantum level so this definitely sets a lower limit on the precision with which anything can be known therefore you do need to look at a large enough volume to be able to reliably measure a difference between the state of the two parts. Furthermore the wavelength of the phenomena being measures is also relevant. Otherwise you are like the crew on a boat in a storm thinking nothing is happening because the deck of the boat is not flexing, to use a very rough metaphor. It is only the difference in the detector arms that varies because they are large enough and one runs along the detectable wave while the other runs across it therefore one is experiencing a greater change than the other and the interference patterns of the photons shift in and out as the wave passes through one arm.

    1. Not many bulls in Livingston LA just north of New Orleans and Hanford WA where we bury our nuclear waste and decommission our submarines. But the almost 1900 mile separation of the CalTech LIGO stations rules out any localized vibrations. IOW: the farting bull is NOT at both sites only one of them. :-P

  10. One problem with the elevator thought experiment is that you CAN tell which elevator you are in. The elevator on the Earth is subject to the r^2 law, so the gravitational force at the top is slightly less than the force at the bottom, not so with an elevator accelerating in deep space. Same goes for the elevator in free-fall towards the Earth (or one could just wait until the elevator hit the ground — then one would know for certain).

    1. Not sure I’d call it a “problem” but it is true it’s a comparison between two “gravity fields” of fundamentally different shape. If one were to use the (rather unfortunate) illustration of the “curved elastic sheet” for gravity to explain the difference, Earth’s field would be the well-known “curved funnel” shape, while the accelerating elevator would look like a “flat incline”. As you note, even though both can be approximated with the same constant value in a restricted region, one of them is actually slightly different everywhere while the other is not – but they both can be thought of as a gravitational field of a specific shape. The thought experiment is about two scenarios that are not actually perfectly equivalent to each other, but the theory they illustrate can perfectly describe either one as either acceleration or equivalent gravity.

  11. In 1934 Russian physicists Dr. Dmitrii Blokhintsev and Dr. F. M. Galperin in their “Neutrino Hypothesis and Conservation of Energy”, stated:

    “The comparison displayed above indicated that the graviton and the neutrino have much in common. This probably testifies that in general the highly improbable process of gravitation radiation becomes practically observable in beta-decay. If the neutrino turns out to be the graviton this would mean that temporary physics had approached the limits beyond which there would be no present insurmountable barrier between gravitation and electromagnetism. Due to theoretical considerations it is hard to identify gravitons with the neutrion since it is hard to admit that they have the same spin ½ as the neutrino. In this respect gravitons have much more in common with light quanta. It is impossible, however, to totally rule out a theoretical possibility of their identification. So far it is much more correct to regard the neutrino as an independent type of particle.”

    They coined the word GRAVITON, a hypothetical particle, which some believe to be a massless spin-2 particle. But if this particle is real and it is gravity wave’s carrier, could that be another sea-change to physics? Imagine as the late Rush W. Dozier Jr.in 1992 said::

    “We exchange gravitons not just with the earth but with all other objects in the universe. Massive objects such as stars and planets are intense sources of gravitons. Less massive objects, such as human beings, produce only a glimmer of gravitons in comparison.”

    What if he was right? Does this change standard thinking of gravity? What are your thoughts here?

    1. I was wondering: Could there be ANOTHER hypothetical gravity particle? Namely a anti-graviton? Could gravity not be monopolar as it seems to be (only attracts and not repels)? Like being much like electromagnetism with it’s two poles. Monopole magnets seem too hypothetical to me. I think there was some empirical evidence with graphenes or something like that.

    2. Unfortunately, you’re confusing theoretical physics semantics with “reality” here.

      A “particle” is just a fancy word for a quantized field excitation. That is, you have a field theory, and you define quantized “annihilation” and “creation” operators, and you build up a quantum field theory. But it’s not like electrons, neutrinos, quarks, photons are little “balls” running around. They’re excitations in a global field.

      Linearized general relativity – that is, general relativity in the weak-field limit – “looks like” the field theory of a spin-2 particle. That’s where the entire idea of gravitons being a spin-2 particle come from.

      The problem is that you pretty much can’t write down a quantum field theory for gravity at all, because all of the standard math tricks don’t work. But this is a *math* problem, not a *physics* problem.

      All the other fields in the universe are quantized, and it would be hard to have a quantum formulation of all the other forces and *not* gravity. So a quantized excitation of spacetime (e.g. a graviton) probably exists, but we have no idea how to describe it, and the experimental effects of something like this are virtually impossible to probe directly.

      1. Just to let me into my brain for a moment (I know a scary thing to ponder!) FYI it may not agree with present science dogma. It’s just my interpretation of it so no flames please:

        When I hear the word “particle” my mind pictures little balls floating around like planets and moons. I know that’s not reality just a convenient tool to explain stuff to dummies like me.

        The word “quantum” I think of a late 19th century poindexter that got tired of saying “the quantity of how much room a material thing takes up”

        Electron – a subatomic PARTICLE that is actually in the lepton family. And I think it carries PHOTONS which I think are smaller particles too but also waves (???). I also see that strange force called invisible lines of force or flux or charge emitting off of the photon ( I think) and is the most difficult form of energy to understand and/or explain to anybody. Feynman had a ridiculously hard time trying to dumb it down (https://youtu.be/MO0r930Sn_8). Well I guess DARK ENERGY is even worse.

        Graviton – I see a ball or particle (times gazillion gazillion) sitting still in a solid object (mass) next to an anti-graviton. Let’s say this object is a planet. I see another object (lets say me) with gravitons and anti-gravitons too in my mass (just like the object above). Both are emitting mysterious invisible lines of force which seem to only attract each other – no repulsion seen yet. The bigger mass attracts the smaller mass. This my mind is called gravity waves. Evidently GWs seem to be charge-different (but does have a charge) and mass-less too just somewhat like neutrinos. However a supercooled disc of spinning (5K+ RPM) YBCO seems to be able to do it on a limited scale (another science mystery?).

        Neutrino – another smaller particle or ball that is carried by a larger neutron which does not share this smaller ball’s features.Since the neutrino has no charge at all nor mass it does not have invisible lines of force nor does it have the mass like other balls have. It is another mystery thing that can only be detected by going through miles of Earth and maybe a vat of dry cleaning fluid and maybe glancing a photon off into a photo-diode in the vat – that’s if your lucky.

        OK now get outta’ my head! :-D

        1. This is actually a good example of the problem with modern science reporting, because the way most particle physics is reported, what you’ve got fits that paradigm pretty well. (Except for the ‘spinning superconductor modifies gravity’ crap. Podkletnov’s claims were never replicated anywhere, and everything about it has all the hallmarks of junk science.)

          But the problem is that fundamental particles aren’t balls. They aren’t *anything* distinct, on their own. They’re excitations of an underlying field, and in fact *most fundamental particles aren’t actually different from each other.* For instance, electrons and neutrinos are actually excitations of the *same field* – the lepton field. An electron is just an “isospin-up” excitation, whereas a neutrino is just an “isospin-down” excitation.

          Think of it like 2 tin cans connected by a string. That string can be excited in two ways.

          You can talk into the cups, which transmits *longitudinal* (compression) waves, and generates sound at the other end. Or you can pluck the string, which transmits a *transverse* wave, and doesn’t generate any sound at the other end (well, not in the same way, you get the idea).

          Same deal here. You ‘pluck’ the lepton string along the direction of the Higgs vacuum, and poof, you get an electron. You pluck the lepton along the direction orthogonal to the Higgs vacuum, and poof, you get a neutrino. That’s the only difference between a neutrino and an electron. (And in fact, there’s less difference between an electron/muon/tau, because it’s basically just how hard you pluck the string).

          The analogy continues for the force carriers: photons, W bosons, Z bosons: they’re all excitations of an underlying fundamental field (the B-field) in different directions relative to the Higgs field.

          This seems insane, right? Electrons have millions of times a neutrino’s mass. Electrons have charge. Electrons bind with protons and dominate all of chemistry. Neutrinos don’t do crap. But it’s the same field. All those differences are due to excitation direction along the Higgs vacuum. Pluck in that direction, and the lepton excitation can interact with the B-field through the Higgs vacuum, and you get the electromagnetic interaction.

          You can’t interpret particles as “distinct balls.” It just doesn’t work, because none of the observed symmetries would be explained that way.

          1. @Pat – I would agree with your “junk science” comment about University of Tampere’s Dr. Eugene P’s discovery IF it wasn’t for an INDEPENDENT discovery of the same thing by NASA in Alabama (USA) by Dr. Ning Li and crew. I know Dr. P’s recent association with our (USA) SRI International organization from Stanford (specifically the hocus-pocus boys there) doesn’t help his credibility. But he saw what he saw in Finland and NO ONE can explain it. Dr. Li INDEPENDENTLY did the SAME experiment and saw the same thing. She started a business and was scooped up by the US Army R&D boys and girls in Alabama.

            I know Dr. P’s repulsion gravity machine is the stuff of sci-fi but he claims he is willing to demo it. However, his hocus-pocus boys from SRI are messing with him. These guys you may remember from certain once secret USG legacy operations like Grill Flame, Stargate and others? This is probably how Dr. P lost his street-creds. However, Dr. Li has moved this issue back in front of real scientists and they have no credible answers to explain that this thing is actually MITIGATING GRAVITY WAVES – But How??? She too believes like you because she can’t think outside the box either…

            Obviously, someone needs to fess up collectively we have NO IDEA what gravity is and what the waves are either. We have plenty of WAG theories but no one can claim that we are even close to knowing anything about it. I like the calculus-bespeckled theories but it seems that circumstantial empirical evidence is starting to throw scientists back to the drawing board. I’m not saying that many could be close and no one may actually be wrong, but they don’t have all the answers about this mysterious force. Feynman could not even express EMF in simplistic laymen terms. Probably because even his understanding was based on jaded vaunted theories of the past that are just incomplete in knowledge. We need more information and I’m afraid it’s not coming from main stream academia. Who? I haven’t a clue – yet…

          2. The only “measurement” I’ve ever seen from Li *disproved* it. It didn’t *confirm* it. Podkletnov’s claims were ~percentage level (5E-4 lower limit), whereas Li set a limit of 2E-8, way, way below. This is from her paper on that test. Everything after that is standard pseudoscience conspiracy theory stuff. A $500K DOD grant to a scientist with connections shouldn’t be interpreted as an endorsement.

            “But he saw what he saw in Finland and NO ONE can explain it.”

            Of course you can explain it. It was poor experimental technique. Percent-level effects are easy to get in any experiment if you aren’t careful.

            “Obviously, someone needs to fess up collectively we have NO IDEA what gravity is and what the waves are either.”

            There’s a reason for that. It’s because gravity is freaking weak. It’s mind-boggling how weak it is. Fundamental particles (quarks, electrons) have electromagnetic interactions around ~10^39 times stronger than gravity. That’s why whenever anyone claims a “lab test” involving gravity, it’s hilarious. The amount of precision required for bench-tests of gravitational effects is ridiculous.

            Consider this: measuring the gravitational constant itself currently has a relative uncertainty of 4.7 x 10^-5. Observing a 5E-4 effect is obviously going to be most likely measurement error, as it’s only an order of magnitude off from the world’s highest precision measurements of similar type. LIGO can get ludicrously higher precision because it’s a differential measurement, but they would still be saddled with the poor G measurement when trying to figure out the black hole masses/gravitational wave luminosity, for instance (although that’s not even remotely a contributor in terms of error currently).

          3. OK but I did say she (Dr. Ning Li) was not a believer either. But her DoD grant with Redstone is not based on imaginarium. She actually floated a small target over the alleged ceramic disk just like Dr. P. did in Finland. The US Army actually thinks they can disrupt local gravity around an incoming ICBM essentially crashing it on descent phase.Allegedly Boeing Phantom Works is building a prototype plane* using the P-disks. BaE in UK is doing something classified with it too. Check out Dr. P’s resume he is not a junk scientist. He has bona fides. Tampere only fired him as he was rocking the (MSA) mainstream academia boat and would not STFU about his inconvenient truth discovery (MSA does not handle sea-change very well). But for some reason NASA, Boeing, BaE, SRI International ALL were vying for his attention, These are not junk science organizations (well unfortunately SRI’s Puthoff and Swan are – sorry guys).

            Dr. P’s little lab smoke trick with his pipe over the disk was just too interesting to pass up. His next steps evolved work did get contaminated by some at SRI but SRI is used by our USG heavily for off-the-books new technology. They are mostly Stanford dot edu grads (PhD’s etc.). Even some of Dr. Puthoff’s work is legit but mostly just junk science. Dr. P needs to remove his association with SRI and take Boeing;s or BaE’s deal. Our he could go to Dr. Li (hat in hand) and ask to team up.

            * You may see a dramatized prototype of the new fighter jet in Roland Emmerich’s new blockbuster movie this year.

            Evidently Ning Li and her crew saw it too and said “We don’t need him we can do this at NASA ourselves!” Eugene got bad advice from those nuts at SRI and he was holding out for more $$$. He would not demonstrate his discovery NOT because he couldn’t but only because he wouldn’t. He is no conspiracy theory nut. He has discovered something UBER strange about gravity waves and the detractors are lining up to try and put monkey poo all over it. (Thanx dan for that cool phrase!) LOL

          4. “Monkey poo..” means people feeding off their own shit, which is why it applies so well to rdit, that site is (mostly) one big squirming pile of self deluding circle jerkers.

            I haven’t got time to read all this stuff of yours, but are you saying gravity is a force? Because it isn’t otherwise we should be able to do the gravitational equivalent of the double slit experiment and show it can behave as both waves or quantised, particles. Gravity does not really exist, it is how we refer to the slope of the space-time surface. Gravity is like sailors referring to the effect of the motion of the ship’s deck as “Fallydonwness.”

          5. @dan – I appreciate your simian fecal clarification. However, I notice you speak in absolutes about things like gravity etc. Has there been a sea-change recently and gravity is now a KNOWN science without any theories left? Isn’t what you say only HYPOTHETICAL, and if that is yes why don’t you ever caveat your sentences to reflect that?

            No am not saying Gravity is a STRONG FORCE. I believe scientists when they say it is a weak force. To me gravity waves exist and are real as I believe Dr. Feynman proposed and proved earlier this month in USA. I believe them to be invisible lines of force almost like EM field – but different none-the-less. I do believe mass impacts them as I think the theoretical particles gravitons has something to do with it. And maybe even a partner heretofore unknown to science. I notice that a massive body tends to make mGal’s go down in gravity not up with gravimetry detectors as would be intuitive if science was correct about their theories.

            I’m not going to be adamant about anything like you are. I am just a watcher and delight in watching everyone ponder the infinite. It’s entertaining to me. However, you an others bickering is not. Just take one for the team and concede to keep the peace (which I see you have – bravo!). Forget the HUGE ego and just play in this cyber-sandbox in a friendly way – It makes HaD more fun…

            Don’t taze me bro! :P

          6. I did qualify my statement by offering a test you can perform, even if it is just a thought experiment. If gravity was more than just how we describe the curve of space-time’s influence on mass one should expect certain phenomena to exist that have not been observed. If you suggest anything that indicates that gravity waves are like light waves you should be able to show that gravity can act like a particle, as light can. That would be seriously freaky if it did, creating areas of space that were either completely effected by gravity and others that were not at all.

            If I have two large black holes and a smaller one between them to create a double slot configuration and then I have on one side of that a two hole merger event, what happens to the gravity waves that pass through the slot configuration and toward an array of distant detectors on the other side?

            Black holes are fun to visualise, if light’s path can wrap around a hole at a specific distance to cause the light to return to the sender, what do an array of tiny black holes give you, a cosmic mirror?

          7. @dan – I know nothing about gravity being speculated to be like light. I’ve only heard gravity may be similar to magnetism. I do not know how scientists arrive at the conclusion that gravity waves travel at the speed of light. I don’t disbelieve it, I just don’t know how the “get to” that conclusion.

          8. Gravity due to normal matter is not polar so it isn’t like magnetism. It is just how curved an area of space is. If there is an anti-gravitational effect from dark energy it has yet to be measured so it isn’t the sort of thing you will see on Earth with any equipment that currently exists.

            The speed of light varies but it’s maximum limit is c the speed of causality, the maximum speed anything can interact with anything else, so that would including the influence of changes in gravity, i.e. waves in gravity. This means that although the two black holes instantly shed the mass they acquired trying to accelerate at relativistic speeds gravity can’t spring back to the level just associated with the mass of the combined black hole. It is that point right at merger where all the numbers get so large I can’t fully understand it, there must be a limit due to the Planck length otherwise the two black holes reach infinite mass at the exact point of merger and the space time curve springs back instantly making the gravity wave more like an exponential sawtooth. Imagine a parabola that rises to infinity then drop straight down to a level near zero. It is effectively zero because even black holes are nothing compared with infinity.

          9. dan – Yes gravity does APPEAR to be monopolar in nature (i.e. attract only), but there is a camp that believes that G may have invisible lines of force that look like Magnetic Lines of Force like when you visualize them with iron filings on paper. Also another camp that believes there are monopolar magnets. And yet another that believes G can not only attract but also repulse. It’s hard to decide who to believe. It appears none of them can empirically prove their dogma. Why should I believe your camp? Do you have empirical evidence that is not just conjecture or theory like the others?

            There are too many SIGs out there muddling the issues with their jaded propaganda.

            SIG – special interest groups

          10. @Pat – Clarification: When I say Dr. P and P-Disk I am referring to Dr Eugene Podkletnov not Dr. Hal Puthoff of SRI International who has recently adopted Dr. P so he can be brainwashed with his garbage science. Dr. Ning Li could cure him and give his P-Disk idea more credibility.

            If you do not believe Dr. P and Li have mitigated gravity waves above a rapidly super-cooled disk of YBCO, than what do you propose is happening? I think a French scientist in 18th century did some gravity mitigation discoveries using a gravity measuring device on top of massive mountains. I think it was Pierre Bouguer. I think this was the beginning of thinking gravity can be partially blocked or mitigated or reduction.

            Our US military uses Bouguer Anomaly devices to locate hidden underground bunkers. Why? Because these voids in massive objects like mountains or underground rock (caves or caverns) increases the mGal’s to positive (in opposition to earlier measurements years before at that site) The more negative mGal’s the less gravity waves are detected at same location indicating a probable void underfoot.

            *mGal – milligal or Galileo – is a unit of acceleration used extensively in the science of gravimetry.

          11. Just to clarify my point about Bouguer Anomaly: If MASS increases gravity then a BA Detector would indicate MORE mGals on top of a mountain (or go positive). It does not! They go NEGATIVE mGal’s on massive mountains and massive underground plates – indicating LESS garvity as if the masses are reducing it in some way. This is COUNTER to present gravity theory. Should have been sea-change back then but for some reason it wasn’t. My Dr. Carl Sagan bobble head doll would be nodding his head right now – “Yes beelion’ and beelion’ of miles through spacetime…” Why couldn’t he pronounce BILLION like everyone else? :-)

          12. “If you do not believe Dr. P and Li have mitigated gravity waves above a rapidly super-cooled disk of YBCO, than what do you propose is happening?”

            I already said that. They screwed up the measurement, or neglected some additional term. Thermal effects usually do it. Do you think that “she floated a small target” meant that she used ‘antigravity’ to float it? Because that *did not* happen. Podkletnov never claimed over 100% mitigation. Just that it reduced the weight by ~1% or so. That’s it. And like I said, you can screw that up five days from Sunday.

            You’re not going to get gravity modification on a benchtop. It’s just not going to happen. You’re not going to somehow compensate for 10^24 kg of mass with a spinning rare-earth crystal.

            “I think a French scientist in 18th century did some gravity mitigation discoveries using a gravity measuring device on top of massive mountains. I think it was Pierre Bouguer. I think this was the beginning of thinking gravity can be partially blocked or mitigated or reduction.”

            Holy crap, no! The Bouguer anomaly is just mapping the Earth using its gravitational field. The Earth isn’t a perfect sphere. Less mass close to you = less force. Not in any way controversial or surprising.

            I have no idea why you think the Bouguer anomaly runs counter to “present gravity theory.” It doesn’t. You get a negative Bouguer anomaly going up because it’s “g_measured – g_reference.” Gravity decreases as you go up, so it’s negative. It’s just called an “anomaly” because it’s different than the Earth ellipsoid model.

            I think it’s pretty clear that you’ve got a bias in the way you’re reading articles/information, in that you’re *looking* for things that run counter to what you think is the way gravity works. Absolutely no one would associate a geophysical mapping method with pseudoscience “antigravity” stuff.

          13. There’s no “blocking the gravity waves.” It’s not doing anything except very carefully mapping out the local gravitational acceleration due to the Earth, subtracting out the acceleration expected from a reference model of the Earth, and using that to infer the actual mass distribution in the Earth.

            It’s Newtonian gravity. The only thing that’s modern about it is the sensitivity of the apparatus, and the reason why it can be so sensitive is because gravity doesn’t get blocked, shielded, deflected, refracted, or screwed around with to ridiculous precision.

            And for reference, voids cause a *negative residual*, not a negative Bouguer anomaly, since there are tons of effects that aren’t accounted for in a simplistic model, so the overall anomaly of areas tends to be of one sign or the other due to other effects. Look up any paper showing measurements/models – here, figure 6, for instance. Less mass = less gravitational attraction. No magic.

            And if you’re wondering why they use superconductors in gravimeters, it has ** nothing ** to do with any bizarre gravity effects from the superconductor. They do it because the superconductor can levitate magnetic coils using the Meissner effect, and they can tune it so that the effective spring constant is very small, which you can’t easily due with mechanical springs.

          14. @Pat – Just like Dr. Podkletnov. him and I need to stop saying “blocking the gravity waves.”. The reason why is that when we say “blocking” we don’t mean 100% shielding of GW. In his case, in Finland, he empirically achieved 2% weight loss of the target over his P–disk (my coinage). Dr; Li achieved similar specs (or better). However, detractors keep quoting her STATIC disk test as PROOF that she failed. WRONG! There is a vast difference between STATIC and ROTATIONAL results.

            You have to consider the Defense Industry’s interest in a so-called “failed” experiment. The reason why her new company has showed no profit but no termination as a result over so many years as she is doing top-secret work for USG as a independent contractor. It seems counter-intuitive for the US Military to fool around with a black technology that doesn’t actually work The other two companies are playing games with the MSM and acting like “keep moving nothing to see here” as they are stonewalling inquiries as their interest in this new AG technology needs to remain TS until they roll out the first AG fighter (who knows maybe sometime this year after the new movie where they are showcased???) I assure you Popular Mechanics and Popular Science will do follow up articles on both scientists recent work and empirical accomplishments that will leave the theorist’s jaws dropped…Talk about sea-change…

            The gravimetrics used for military bunker location is simply empirical. You take a mGal reading x-years ago over a large area in enemy territory for the baseline. You do it again today. If the mGals are higher or positive from baseline you PROBABLY have a large underground void (bunker cave etc). When PB did his experiments in 18th century he did it on top of granite massives (mountains made of granite and flat plains that had large granite tectonic plates underground. I think he did this in South America (not sure). I think his readings were LOWER G above a massive not INCREASED as anticipated by theorists. On top of a mountain he is right next to the massive not several hundred feet under him like the tectonic plates on lower plain may be.

            This to me suggests GW mitigation from simple granite. Wherever there was no granite, his readings were higher. His gravimeter was primitive to today’s sophisticated systems. Just dropping a weight and measuring the time of fall. In the device I posted it’s image I’m aware that the superconducting element is not for GW mitigation. I believe it has something to do with the triggering mechanism for the timed timed drop weight – I’m only guessing from thinking of the gadget and trying to hack it in my mind.

            I wish we could build a gravimeter on HaD using an Arduino or something.

          15. “You have to consider the Defense Industry’s interest in a so-called “failed” experiment. The reason why her new company has showed no profit but no termination as a result over so many years as she is doing top-secret work for USG as a independent contractor. ”

            Followed by:

            “This to me suggests GW mitigation from simple granite. ”

            Yeah, you’ve now crossed fully over into standard pseudoscience conspiracy theory, ticking off all the required boxes: secret governnment experiments, people discovering magic physics hundreds of years ago but it never being recognized, etc. Sorry, there’s no more point to discuss – at this point you believe it’s easier to explain using conspiracy theories and mainstream science non-acceptance, whereas I believe that it’s easier to explain using government cronyism and non-repeatable experimental error.

  12. Well, I dont buy it!

    If an athlete swinging the hammer in the stadium were used as a model for the sun (athlete) and earth (hammer) and the wire in between (gravity).

    Its easy to see that if you cut the wire close to earth it will instantly start a straight motion.

    Cutting the wire close to the sun and earth still moving in orbit for another eight minutes will mean that there is a mass/inertia in gravity. Wich is ridiculously . . .

    1. You’re forgetting two important things: Your figurative gravity-wire model already exists in Earth’s gravity which kinda’ sorta’ messes with your scenario. You’d have to do this in outer space where no legacy gravity exists to be valid. And I’m not sure but your model is more related to another force than gravity… namely Centrifugal Force.

      1. I was thinking of the exact same though experiment as John Blund. If there was no gravity, but Earth and Sun was wired together with a extremely strong wire with negligible mass, we would have an anology to gravity. The centrifugal force is the (fictitious) force that pushes Earth away from the Sun while the force keeping the two bodies together are the centripetal force, which is real. In this thought experiment the centripetal force is coming from the wire, while in reality it is of cource coming from gravity.

        If we ignore lots of practical problem with this thought experiment, such as the rotating Earth that would soon wind up the wire (the Moon would do much better with its bound rotation!) I think it is a quite good analogy.

        But I don’t know what would happen if the wire were cut near the Sun. Would it start a straight motion right away, or would it take 8 minutes? If the latter, why?

        1. @Martin Larsen _ I personally would not call Centrifugal Force “fictitious” as that word means something else than what you probably meant. It’s safer to say CF does not involve “waves” or “charges” like gravity waves. The hypothetical scenario of adding a tether between Earth and Sun is quite problematic. First why do that if gravity is your invisible tether already? Also, the tether would burn away at the Sun.

          Let’s just modify the scenario like this: Let’s say what would happen if the Sun just magically disappeared with it’s gravity. What would happen to the Earth’s orbital trajectory? I think it would just fly off into the galaxy taking the moon with it and probably collide with other out of control objects n outer space.

          My question is “What keeps the Earth from colliding into the Sun eons from now?” I mean the Sun’s gravity pulls Earth to it constantly. The CF keeps it in a orbital trajectory kinda’ like the Earth is trying to fly away from the Sun. At some point that must decay over eons of time. What’s stopping the eventual collision? CF can only hold it for so long before the orbit decays. I agree comets and asteroids have very long term transits around the sun too but one day they too will decay. Didn’t this happen on Jupiter a few years back? This happens with our artificial satellites all the time.

          I personally think there is an unknown component of gravity we have yet to understand that keeps us at the perfect distance from the Sun forever. Maybe some egotistical types can chime in and try to confuse us with esoteric gobbedly gook they just learned at university and make our laymen brains hurt! (LOL) I’m just kidding…

          1. The sun reduces it’s mass as it radiates E produced in the fusion reactions at it’s core. It also blows off huge amounts of actual mass. The moon has a tidal effect on the Earth and changes it’s velocity. Hence the joke about tidal energy projects contributing to the risk of the moon falling on your head. Nothing made of matter is constant, everything decays even stable atoms eventually, so the sun earth relationship cannot be infinitely stable simply because they are not in a stable state themselves.

            BTW the 9/10 joke is about the fact that most people on HAD would be in the top 10% of the population for IQ, regardless of their education. If you want idiots try Facebook. :-)

  13. “we are forced to conclude that the photon in the elevator on Earth must follow a curved path.”

    Though correct from our perspective, that makes it harder to understand. It is better to understand light goes in a straight line, but that space and time are curved. The apple does not accelerate to earth, earth is bent onto the apple.

  14. HI, Perhaps somebody can help me out here. I am trying hard to understand what exactly the LIGO experiment proved.

    Let me start with the Michelson-Morley experiment 1887. In search for the ether; a divine medium for lightwaves, Michelson invented the interferometer. The experiment failed. The expected phase shift wasn’t observed so the conclusion was that light from all directions had the same velocity of propagation.

    The absence of phase shift was regarded to be in line with Einsteins theory and even considered to be proof of c=constant. However the same instrument, of course ultra hightech, is used by LIGO. It measured that what the interferometer of Michelson failed to do. Although this time the opposite outcome is also presented as proof of GR.

    My question is: How can two contradicting outcomes proof one and the same theory?

    Surely the LIGO scientists considered the possibility that they observed the most obvious: Variations in the velocity of light like Michelson and Morley searched for.
    They must have watertight reasons to stick to the inevitability of stretching the entire Milky Way and beyond to enable the LIGO tunnels to vary a nano bit in length, in order to keep the speed of light constant and Einstein’s theory right.

    Perhaps a more down to Earth problem is the observation that the “chirp” of those merging blackholes appeared to exactly match the frequencies of the gravitational waves. This is quite strange in my opinion.

    Before it reached LIGO the wave went through a complex landscape of spacetime curvature, shaped by known and unknown masses in the Milky Way. This landscape should deform during the passage of the wave and should have left its mark on it.

    In other words: There are lots of big balls in the pond, so how can a single ball keep the water waving exactly according to it’s own frequency?

    Because there are countless cosmic events going on over billions of years, spacetime should continuously deform and never come to rest. More precise interferometers in the future should display continuos phase shifting. However if you can’t be sure about the time it took nor the distance traveled, how can you be sure about an absolute velocity of propagation of light within your interferometer?

    To “hear” gravitational waves implies that our own spacetime has become an unpredictable relative frame of reference, which should make it theoretically impossible to gauge c as a universal constant.

    When this is true, the LIGO experiment only proved c to be merely an axiom.

    At this point it occurs to me that LIGO proved one concept with another, which of course is impossible.

    Probably I just don’t get it. In my eyes the accidental discovery of variations in the propagation speed of light in vacuum would have been the great news. Finally we would have broken through theoretical barriers and opened a real new window to the universe.

    Thanks in advance.

    1. I’m not going to address all of your post, but I do have a few thoughts.

      Michelson-Morley were looking for variations in the speed of light with respect to the time of day or year. The motivation for this was the idea that the Earth traveled through a stationary aether, thus there was an aether wind relative to the Earth. If light interacted with the aether, as was the model, then the aether wind would result in light traveling faster or slower depending on the direction with respect to the aether wind, which would vary by time of day and season of the year as the Earth rotated and revolved.

      The LIGO uses the same conceptual setup to measure variations in the speed of light between two detectors, but the researchers are looking for transient changes over much the shorter intervals of time expected for a gravitational wave passing through. People tend to describe a gravitational wave as shifting the shape of space, because the math is easier to do with a constant speed of light assumed. The math can be done either way, but assuming constant space and inconstant speed of light becomes much more complicated.

      An analogy would be the differences between looking for changes in the climate (Michelson-Morley) vs. changes in the weather (LIGO).

    2. “My question is: How can two contradicting outcomes proof one and the same theory?”

      They’re not contradicting outcomes. The Michelson-Morley experiment looked for a phase shift due to the motion of the Earth. It concluded that the speed of light isn’t affected by the motion of the Earth. That’s what set off special relativity. It’s not the fact that they got no phase shift. It’s that they got no phase shift due to the motion of the Earth.

      If you do a Michelson-Morley experiment with one leg pointed into the Earth, and one leg pointed perpendicular, you would also end up with a phase shift, albeit an itty-bitty tiny one.

      “Surely the LIGO scientists considered the possibility that they observed the most obvious: Variations in the velocity of light like Michelson and Morley searched for.”

      We *know* that light gets bent by gravity. So we can either say that “light slows down” due to gravity, or we can say that “distances get longer” due to gravity.

      The key realization in general relativity is that it’s *easier* to say “distances get longer” because then *both* the bending of light *and* the motion of matter both get explained with one explanation.

      “Because there are countless cosmic events going on over billions of years, spacetime should continuously deform and never come to rest. More precise interferometers in the future should display continuos phase shifting. ”

      Yup, that’s right. That’s callled the gravitational wave background. However, those will basically just look like noise to any detector, because the directions are random.

          1. Space might not be Euclidean, but that doesn’t mean I can’t write down a Euclidean coordinate system, draw straight lines, and watch light be bent away from those straight lines by gravity.

            It’s semantics. Light isn’t really ‘bent’ by a lens, either, but it’s a heckuva lot easier to write it down as if it is.

          2. You can do what you like, nobody actually cares what you do, and I can point out when a person makes a potentially misleading comment, even if you don’t like it and call it elitist in a fit of childish hubris.

          3. It isn’t a misleading comment.

            Go back and look at what was originally written. I said that we know that light gets bent by gravity. That’s an observation. If there’s no mass in the way, you see a star at some angle. Put mass in the way, and that angle changes. So the path of the light is bent by the presence of matter. This is an observation that you need to explain somehow.

            What I then said was that this can be interpreted two ways: either light slows down due to gravity (akin to a dielectric material), or *distances get longer*. The point is that if you interpret it as “distances get longer” then both light and matter are affected in the same way, and everything’s happy.

            If you interpret it as “distances get longer,” then the deflection of light is natural because the least-time path through the space is now curved. That was the entire point of the statement – to show that the *observation* is best explained by actual distortion of spacetime, and that in fact gravity isn’t acting on light somehow specially.

            Saying “light doesn’t get bent by gravity” is like saying “projectiles don’t get deflected by the Coriolis effect.” Yes, it’s true that when you look at it from a non-rotating frame, it’s obvious that the projectile is actually travelling in a straight line. But the deflection is an observation, which gets explained by “the Earth is rotating” which leads you to conclude that the deflection was only *apparent*.

          4. Saying “light doesn’t get bent by gravity” is like saying how it actually works, that is all. You are welcome to you junior grade interpretations but you have to accept that many people don’t find it very helpful. For example, using your paradigm can you work out exactly what causes the modulation of gravity and the reason the amplitude envelope is the way it is, once you manage to visualise that in the first place? As I pointed out in my first post here the picture above does not match the recorded data. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TWqhUANNFXw But that recorded data does make sense in terms of the physics if gravity strength is just a way of describing space-time curvature.

            I look forward to your answer to the above question, because nobody else here has been able to answer it yet.

          5. I’ll say this again: what I said is an *observation*. Not a “junior grade interpretation.” Not a “paradigm.” Not a theory. Not a hypothesis. Not an explanation. It’s an observation.

            When massive objects are placed in between you and an object, the light gets deflected compared to if there’s *no* object in the way. This is simply an observation.

            The theory of “why” light gets deflected is something else entirely.

          6. It is the way that gets deflected, not the light. It is a very important distinction if you want to be able to work with space-time curvature in your mind’s eye. i.e. “Get you head around it.”

          7. The fact that it’s the *path* that’s deflected, and not the light, is the *explanation* for the observation. You’re not measuring the path. You’re measuring the received angle of the light. You’re observing the deflection, and then explaining it using GR by saying “no, space itself is being distorted.”

      1. Thanks for the reply. You mentioned that light is slowed down by gravity. That is new to me. I was not aware that gravity bends light. Always thought that spacetime is curved by mass and that light is forced to follow the geodesics of spacetime curvature somehow, and that a physical explanation for the mysterious interaction between light and spacetime is still in the dark. I agree with Dan’s post on this.

        I gathered that the constant velocity of propagation of light is essential to the mechanism of the LIGO interferometer. On that working scale without c phase shift has no meaning. However you explained that math gives room to another approach.

        If you ask me gravitational wave background can’t have random directions because it’s caused by certain bodies. Our lack of knowledge about these bodies results the sound of noise.

        1. Gravity actually slows down the relative progression of time. While light has a constant velocity, the impact of time slowing down is that light itself appears to slow down (from an external reference frame). As light “is slowed down by gravity”, it is deflected in the same way that light is deflected when it passes from one type of glass to another with a higher index of refraction (which means a slower speed of light through the glass). A laser going through anything (such as space in a gravity well, or something in the lab) with a continuously changing index of refraction will bend in a curve. From the reference frame of the laser, it is always going in a straight light, even when it is very obviously being bent by the media from an external reference frame.

          The curving of space-time is just a model to describe this process by way of visual analogy.

          In this case, as it often does, “random” means “random with respect to the observer”.

        2. “Always thought that spacetime is curved by mass and that light is forced to follow the geodesics of spacetime curvature somehow,”

          That’s right. But from an observer’s perspective, if you put a star 1 light year away, and put a big mass in between, light that travels from that star to you will take longer than 1 year to get to you. So from an observer’s perspective, it looks like gravity “slowed light down.” It didn’t, really: there was actually *more space* for it to go through, because the big mass *stretched* space.

          But there’s no reason you can’t ‘think’ of it like gravity slows the light down. The math all works out the same. It’s exactly the same as light going through a dielectric media. It’s not really as simple as “the light slows down” – it’s a reaction against the dipoles in the medium (there’s “more electric field” for it to go through – sound familiar?).

        3. “If you ask me gravitational wave background can’t have random directions because it’s caused by certain bodies. Our lack of knowledge about these bodies results the sound of noise.”

          This doesn’t make any sense. The objects that cause the gravitational wave background are uniformly spread over the universe. They can come from any direction, hence, the direction is random.

          1. “This doesn’t make any sense. The objects that cause the gravitational wave background are uniformly spread over the universe. They can come from any direction, hence, the direction is random.”

            If you live in the city there is background noise. All sound sources have a certain own position, and a certain own spectrum. Because of the lack of knowledge about these sources you don’t know where to point your mic. and your record just noise. If you hear just noise it doesn’t give you any information about the individual sources. Therefore you just can’t conclude these sources are spread randomly over the city. It ‘s your recording that is random.

          2. You don’t need to conclude the sources are spread out randomly. You know they’re random, because you know they’re distributed in things that are spread out randomly in the Universe.

    3. @bastiaan – Just like PAT I can not address all of your posting. However, [absolute] Aether does not exist. The gas does though. That was proven over a century ago. The LIGO is like a very long baseline 200 W laser rig inside of a COMPLETE 2.5 mile vacuum conduit. Since laser light contains photons (or is photons) it is a particle and a wave (I think). So gravity can affect particles. The Louisiana rig is 2.5 miles long but bounces between mirrors and splitters 75 times. So that’s a baseline of maybe 187 miles! Like a folded dipole antenna? So this legacy gravity from eons ago hits this extremely long stream of particles and the photo-diode sensor that is placed offset from the stream gets shined on indicated GRAVITY WAVE alarm! That’s indicative of 0.1 to 5Hz.

      But how do I know that that vibration wasn’t caused by a loose runaway Louisiana Rodeo Bull farting next to the conduit in Livingston? Or a FedEx truck making deliveries to the CalTech field building on Livingston Road and his engine starts back-firing? Well that’s where Hanford Washington comes in. It’s about 1,900 miles away. The farting bull can’t also be in Hanford can it? A few milliseconds later the same thing happens in Hanford (albeit it is 50% the size of LIGO – Livingston LA). Do the maths – the speed of light or “C” – which BTW does not mean CONSTANT – now I know that that was a gravity wave coming from Andromeda Galaxy (or AG) as the two stations are “triangulated” to be “aimed” (for lack of a better word) at AG.

      “C” is a Latin word for “speed” (i.e.Celeritas). It is not even a constant either as it is dependent upon the medium your light is passing through. Anything from AG would pass through a lot of mediums (i.e. Legacy gravity, stellar gravity, black hole gravity, Magellanic gasses, extra-solar and solar atmospheres, and the Earth atmosphere). And yes I believe gravity can slow down light if it is being bent by it. Dr. Ron Mallet (UCONN physicist professor) uses some sort of nano crystal to slow down light for his alleged time-machine he claims actually has worked up to -1 second. One day I’m going to ask him to show me as I visit his building periodically on other business. I just don’t have the guts to speak with him. And I don’t know why as I have been with plenty of celebs. Some sort of psychological problem of mine. (Stop! Don’t do it! LOL) :-P

      1. It’s a misguiding choice of words “gravitational waves”. It’s like saying a tsunami is an earthquake wave.

        A gravitational wave is in fact a wave in spacetime caused by changes in local mass. So you really can’t confuse it with a backfiring Fedex truck. Of course you want to prevent the mirrors from vibrating by such events because that would disturb the “in phase” situation of the lasers, mirrors and receivers. However damping environmental vibrations is a technical issue just to make the interferometer work well. The most advanced interferometer will only detect a Rodeo bull when it’s crossing one of the laser beams.

        The mirrors won’t even “vibrate” when a spacetime wave passes. The whole interferometer, the whole Earth is stretched including your bull. Perhaps this makes him fart afterwards, when the wave is on its way to the next galaxy and he returns to his solar system related posture.

        Even the impact of a small meteor causes a spacetime wave. Just like all other events in the Milky Way in which local mass is forced to rebalance.

        1. Actually I did not coin the misnomer “gravitational waves”. If I did I’d call it graviton-flux-charge or gravity-invisible-lines-of-force. Like if you want to know how gravity waves PROBABLY look if you could see them is to spread some iron filings on a piece of white paper on top of a bar magnet. I think GW’s are similar. http://images.slideplayer.com/26/8522127/slides/slide_10.jpg

          ” It’s like saying a tsunami is an earthquake wave.”
          Well it kinda’ sorta’ is. The tsunami is the ocean wave directly impacted by the seismic wave from a tectonic plate or fault-line shift.

          The farting rodeo bull was a joke I did to make fun of another joker here… However, the LIGO is on orders of magnitude hella’ sensitive to local seismic vibrations. It could possibly “feel” a truck back-firing out on Livingston Road or a local earth tremor. However, LA and WA are not heavy seismic areas, no one is allowed down Livingston Road not even Fedex (not even cops or EMTs unless there was a bona-fide emergency at LIGO). And of course there is no livestock in Livingston LA nor Hanford WA. The super vacuum helps with mitigating outside influences. The 2.5 mile conduit stops wind and organic influences like fauna (bulls, squirrels, etc.) and humans. The sides are hard and you could stand-up in it when the air is let back in and the LASER is off.

          The LIGO mirrors/splitters are stationery and don’t move at all. The photo-diode is too. The only thing that moves with the passing GW is the LASER beam itself. By having a split site you eliminate (filter) non-GW incidences.

          Yes it appears that all material objects have some gravity of it’s own including us. However, the gravity is minuscule and easily overcome by more massive objects like the Earth. However, meteors, and other objects don’t have enough to compete with stars and planets. And people’s bodies are NOT gravitationally attracted to large buildings when walking near them.

          1. @ sonofthunderboanerges

            Thanks a lot for the technical details. I already understood you didn’t coin the GW’s, sorry if I left the impression that I thought you did. I had a good laugh imagining the absurd situation of a bull walking through one of the LIGO laser beams.

            “The super vacuum helps with mitigating outside influences. The 2.5 mile conduit stops wind and organic influences like fauna (bulls, squirrels, etc.) and humans. The sides are hard and you could stand-up in it when the air is let back in and the LASER is off.”

            Sure, although essentially the vacuum is required to guaranty “the velocity of propagation of light in vacuum” because that’s the theoretical reference for SR GR GW’s e=mc² and so on.

            “The LIGO mirrors/splitters are stationery and don’t move at all. The photo-diode is too. The only thing that moves with the passing GW is the LASER beam itself. By having a split site you eliminate (filter) non-GW incidences.”

            Indeed theoretically both laser beams should actually move a bit within the instrument when a GW strikes. GR suggests light follows the geodesics of spacetime with alter during the impact.

            “And people’s bodies are NOT gravitationally attracted to large buildings when walking near them.”

            Interesting, where did that come from? It reminds me of “the tale of the two elevators”.

          2. @bastiaan – Some moron told me this years ago. He said he read it somewhere in a science journal of sorts. The gravity from you is minuscule. The building is more massive but it does not have enough horizontal gravity to overcome Earth’s vertical gravity and pull you toward the building during a walk-by.

            I truly believe that SOMETHING is generating GWs and causing an attraction of objects toward it. In Earth’s case I believe it is at he center at the core. I believe it has something to do with gravitons and a reverse-gw-charge-partner particle equally hypothetical or unknown. Much like how tachyons are still unproven. And yes the more mass you have, I posit, the more of that stuff the massive object has. Our star Sol must have a hella’ lot of it. It’s what’s keeping us orbiting Sol. A healthy balance of GW and Centrifugal Force. On a smaller scale our moon Luna and Earth.

            Only part I don’t get is why all the Solar planets (including us) are not death spiraling (orbital decay) into Sol one day in the distant future. There may be another component/artifact of gravity (or the converse) we just don’t understand yet.

            However, it appears you can interrupt localized Earth GW’s proven by NASA and a Russian Dr. formerly at University of Tampere (Finland). NASA was successful in levitating a frog in a small chamber in an Earthbound lab. NASA tried to go for a full human experiment but chickened out as the huge ceramic disk they proposed would have to be rotated at 5,000 rpm in liquid Helium. They were afraid of explosive decomposition and stopped the project. Allegedly Boeing has the technology and is testing it in a new classified aircraft. BaE (UK) has it and doing the same. US ARMY Redstone Arsenal has it (from NASA sharing) and wants to figure out how to destabilize incoming missiles with it. It will not work in outer space though. It will only work in a planet or moon’s gravity.

            The part here that tickles me in this thread is everybody making absolute definitive statements on how gravity actually works. I guess I did not get the memo that somebody made a sea-change breakthrough and has all the gravity answers. You know moving from W.A.G. theory” to “fact” mode. Just sayin’ ;-)

  15. “De lichtsnelheid in vacuüm wordt beschouwd als een natuurconstante”. This is Dutch. It says:
    The velocity of light in vacuum is regarded to be a constant of nature.

    Could be my impulsive translation that is somewhat confusing. You should speak to the professor when you have the chance! It took me lots of guts to post my comment. My next reply is quite long and risky so it’s still in teksteditor. I am hesitating.

    1. Yes the velocity of light in a vacuum is a constant. However, the velocity of light through outer space to here is not. outer space is NOT a complete vacuum as many people seem to incorrectly believe.That’s also why I am confused as to why every one here is referring to “space-time” as if it where a tractable material thing that can be stretched, manipulated, etc. Time does not exist so it can’t be frame dragged. Space does exist as you take up space and you can be stretched. However, if a person thinks the word “space” in “space-time” is referring to the empty vacuum parts of outer space then I think they are mistaken. You can’t stretch, manipulate, or destroy nothingness. BUT I guess you could do it if you fill it with something, but that changes the entire thought experiment, doesn’t it.

      I know some fall back on the TIME DILATION experiments by NASA as proof time can be modified. I think their perception as to what’s really happening is very debatable. I think they are trying to jump in a the deep side of the pool and discover that it’s actually a dark matter pool. Two desperately-located Cesium clocks get out of synch in the TD experiment and the only assumption arrived at is “Well since we are perfect and our knowledge is infallible; we can’t be wrong. We’ve done the experiment so many times too!” – OK Einsteins then explain what DARK MATTER/ENERGY is! (That’s NOT aimed at you bastiaan!)


      Bastiaan – Just so you know E-MC² – C does not equal 186,000 miles per second in all mediums hence it is not a constant. It changes with the medium. C is just a convenient way to say “speed” in Latin. I think CalTech LIGO sucked out all the gasses in the 2.5 mile laser conduit to keep C at that speed throughout. If they let air in then the C would change and through off all calculations.

      1. C does not mean “speed of light”, C is a constant, the “speed of causality”. i.e. The fastest speed that anything in the universe can influence anything else, including light. Got that? Your entire idea of physics is inside out.

          1. Not exactly the constant “c” is the speed of causality which is the same as the speed of light in a vacuum. If you teach it as you describe it then you end up with people having incorrect ideas because they think that light speed (which is not universally constant) somehow defines the constant where it is only limited by it. We use light in a vacuum as a reference. And yeah sorry I put C, was trying to put it in the terms used by the other person, who does have ideas caused by the confusion you wish to perpetrate. I am not being pedantic, look at the post before mine, see what happens if you don’t understand it correctly?

            Appreciating c in the case of merging black holes is very important because it explain the shape of the measured signal, forget the graphic above it is wrong, look at the actual data.

            So can you tell me why c being a constant is so influential on the shape (signal envelope) of the detected chirp?

            I keep asking this and none of you “experts” even try to answer the question when it really isn’t complicated.

          2. Light speed in a vacuum is a constant. That’s why it is called a constant. The apparent variation in the speed of light due to gravitational field strength is due to the influence of that field on the measurement technique.

          3. Wrong, it is not a constant, it is limited by a universal constant that limits all interactions in our universe.

            How about answering my question, just to demonstrate that you actually can use E=mc^2 correctly? Well what shapes the chirp?

          4. The detector is measuring the changes in the curvature on space on one arm relative to the other. So why is the curvature changing in exactly that way, what causes that envelope shape?

            You have no idea do you? So don’t lecture me until you work it out and answer my actual question.

          5. The wave propagation shape is spherical at the distances involved in this case. The dispersion characteristics (density variations) of the material the wave is passing through the determine the arrival time at each detector, and the direction of wave propagation determines which leg of the Michelson interferometer sees the wave. If the wave is traveling along the optical axis the leg sees it, and if the wave is traveling perpendicular to the leg it becomes the reference leg and does not see it.

          6. Keep that up and you will fail the Turing test, answer my original question or admit that you are incapable of visualising the change in space-time during the merger of two singularities, black holes.

            Come on, answer my actual question, what causes the envelope shape of the gravitational signal, why is it that particular shape?

          7. The conversion of mass to energy / energy to mass causes the gravitation pulse. The shape of the pulse is purely determined by the detector characteristics. The actual shape of the gravity pulse is a Guassian pulse shape.

          8. Wrong, what is the acceleration of the two masses at the point of merger when there is now just one singularity? What is the mass value curve for the two objects up until that point? What is the word that describes that type of curve?

          9. Uhhhuh, this is taking longer than it should, but very good we are progressing, so what limit does c have on that acceleration and what are the consequences in regard to the pulse shape?

          10. You can’t directly measure the pulse shape, because it is an interferometric autocorrelation, and it will always look symmetrical (if the detector is allowed to resonate). The amplitude of the detected wave will be determined by the inertia of the test mass and the amplitude / rise time of the wave itself.
            But if we ignore that, then we can say the energy required to accelerate the test mass to the speed of light would require infinite energy.

          11. And off on a tangent we go….

            So back to the question, what happens to m if c is constant an E is changing? Why is E changing and in what way? Hint there is a feedback effect, so why does this influence the shape of the gravitational signal envelope such that the diagram above is not entirely correct, and how should it appear?

          12. E is changing because the mass of the source is changing. The graph shows the frequency of the wave, not the amplitude. The two masses are orbiting each other and as they approach each other their orbit speeds up until they converge into one. At that time the frequency becomes zero.

          13. LOL a graph with only 1 dimension is it? What are you talking about, the chirp diagram that is 2D (ish) or the illustration that is an imaginary 3D projection? I was asking you what is wrong with the 3D diagram given that c is a universal limit on causality.

            BTW the chirp diagram has x,y and intensity so it is 3D and does have amplitude and well as frequency. The other line also shows amplitude, that is where the term envelope is relevant. Remember the question?

          14. It’s frequency verses time. There is no way to deduce amplitude from the graph alone. The mass of the test mass and the propagation vector of the gravity wave would need to be known also.

          15. That avoids the question, probably because you can’t answer the actual question.

            The set of f(x) does not have the same amplitude as f(0) because one is greater than zero and one is zero, for that reason alone we do have relative knowledge of the amplitude.

            What graph are you looking at? Give me the URL so I can be sure. Is it the one that shows time, frequency and amplitude? The one in the video URL?

          16. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TWqhUANNFXw

            The graph has no amplitude data. The graph shows frequency verses time. The colored rising signal is the FFT of the frequency. The audio signal is the FFT translated to a signal in the audio range for illustration purposes.

            As expected, the frequency starts at zero, and as the two black holes start to orbit faster as they get closer to each other the frequency rises and rises as they get closer and closer together until they converge into one. At that point the frequency drops to zero because the mass of the resulting spherical object is constant, so it produces no waves that the device can detect.

          17. Look at it again You can see time, frequency and what else, what is that luminance gradient encoding?

            And I am still waiting for a description of what an accurate depiction of the merger would look like, or even a URL to the work of somebody else depicting it correctly. Come on, you came so close to describing it before, except you talked about before and after, and not the merger, or specifically the shape of space time around the object/s during the time period a detectable signal was being generated.

          18. OK so you think a waterfall graph has no amplitude information in it? It has 3 variables visible, THREE, list them.

            Meanwhile, how about we look at the other part of the question, what should the diagram look like, not the recording, the one at the top of this page, which you have agreed does not show two black holes at the point of merging, nor does it cover the period of the recorded signal. Well what should it look like? Do you have a URL for a visualisation that is correct?

          19. Are you talking to me or Niko?
            Any appearance of amplitude change is the result of the data visualization technique, not of amplitude of the gravity wave. The detection scheme can only detect gravity waves within a certain frequency range. Determining the amplitude of the wave can only be done with a wave of one frequency. The temporal chirp of this wave is too complex to determine exactly what amplitude the original wave had at the moment the two black holes smushed into one singularity, but it can be approximated in an educated way.

          20. Answer the question. There are three variables displayed, list them. Then if you wish to answer the original question and describe space time curvature map around the merger point, * for the time period shown in the FFT diagram * go ahead because so far nobody else has been able to do that.

            Show me that you people know what you are talking about, just a URL to a better 3D projection will do, no effort required from you, if you know what it should look like.

            Otherwise I actually have a reasonable approximation here in a video produced for a paper published by somebody ten years ago. Yeah ten years ago. LOL. It is not bad, but also has some issue with it’s clarity due to the scaling on one axis and the curve at the exact singularity points not being shown fully.

          21. Show us that you understand what you are talking about. Explain to us what point you think you will make with some visualization.
            Otherwise we have no need to waste our time talking to you.

          22. LOL that is a pathetic ploy if ever I saw one, have you no shame? The point was made in my very first post, and clarified in all that followed. Go back and read them. I need not repeat what I have already pointed out above.

            Meanwhile we are still waiting for you to list the three variables in the FFT.

            Why should you not be considered a lame troll, given your conduct?

          23. That is like saying it is an FFT of an FFT If I take an FFT for a given window I get data that fits a 2D plot, if I have a moving window I have a 3D plot, but the third dimension can be represented by a tonal gradient. The amplitude is the displacement of one arm length relative to the other. If the frequency is changing the presence of harmonics relates to power i.e. amplitude. Duh.

          24. The amplitude can’t be represented because changing one arm length relative to the other can only give one fringe of interference difference. That is the limit of the amplitude resolution.

          25. Nope you get to know amplitude whenever you have measurements frequencies (plural) because you have bands that are at worst resolution 1 or zero, but the sum of the bands is proportional to power. I hear (read) what you are claiming, but you are stinking of monkey poo at the moment because your comments don’t make sense and or are incomplete. Do you even understand the point I am making above?

          26. OK, just to clear this up: there is *normalized* amplitude data (as in, the relative magnitude of the frequency component) in that graph. It’s in the color encoding. Of course they could’ve made it in *real* amplitude (just like in an RF power spectrum, which has units of dBm/Hz), but there’s no reason to do that because there’s real amplitude data in the time-domain plots.

            How do I know this? Because it’s in the actual paper.


            “Determining the amplitude of the wave can only be done with a wave of one frequency. The temporal chirp of this wave is too complex to determine exactly what amplitude the original wave had”

            No, it isn’t. That’s actually how they determine the distance. You get the mass ratios and total mass from the frequency components, you know what the energy output would be, and you know what the observed intensity was, so you back out the distance. The peak amplitude of the original wave (in power) was 200 solar masses of energy per second.

          27. Thank you for the clarification Pat. That axis in the Youtube video was not labeled.

            It is important for adults to present information in a useful way, rather than the childish “I know something you don’t, but I’m not telling” way that dan has.

            Thank you, clearly you have a science and engineering background.

          28. I told you there was another variable in the tonal gradient, I even explained it several different ways to you, so it is you who is childish, spiteful, and simply ignorant even of your own ignorance.

          29. Thank you for the clarification Pat. That axis in the Youtube video was not labeled.

            It is important for adults to present information in a useful way, rather than the childish “I know something you don’t, but I’m not telling” way that dan has.

            Thank you, clearly you have a science and engineering background.

          1. The speed of causality is limited by that constant, the speed of light in a vacuum conforms to this too as does everything else in the universe. We use light in a vacuum as a reference, but we could use gravitational waves. See the difference now?

          2. The attack (rise) of the pulse is indicative of a single Gaussian pulse. The fast fall of the pulse is due to the the voice coil / reaction mass attenuation system used to “re-set” the test mass and prevent harmonic vibration.

          3. Wut? Dude what happens when to black holes merge? The chirp envelope is consistent with the physics of the phenomena, and as I pointed out, understanding what c really means is the key. So why do they create a chirp and not doof or whatever. And yeah I do know the answer, but I want to here it from the people who are trying to lecture me as to what c really means.

          4. As the two masses approach each other their orbit becomes faster and faster as shown by the data. Before they converge the average gravitation measured at a great distance is increasing. As they converge the majority of the mass is being converted into energy, as the mass is converted the gravitation is decreasing. At some point they converge and the frequency becomes zero and the gravitation levels out.

          5. Not exactly remember c is a limit on their velocity, so something else has to change, and that something changes the curve of space time which changes their E. It is why they are able to merge.

            Confused? Then forget the orbital component for a moment, just look at the distance between the singularities over time, so how would you change the diagram above to be more closely representative of the part of the event actually recorded?

          6. The average mass rises exponentially to a point where the two masses start to converge and the average mass starts to exponentially decrease as it is converted into energy. The resultant total mass is less then the total of the two original masses.

          7. If it is a singularity pair how can there be a start and stop period of convergence, there is just a point at which they go from trying to accelerate toward each other to not existing separately. The orbital velocity and the spins of the two singularities are a different interaction. Which interaction contributes to the signal envelope?

            Obviously the combined rest mass of the final object is less than the two objects that were not at rest, they were trying to accelerate toward each other.

            So what should the diagram https://hackaday.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/newton_main.jpg?w=800 really look like?

          8. It starts when two singularities are approaching each other and stops when the two coalesce into one. The illustration is just to show the motion of the two objects orbiting each other. It should look like concentric rings around each object with corresponding destructive / constructive interference features. The average frequency measured at a great distance would be determined by the orbit rate. After the two objects have completely converged into one no ripples occur at any frequency, but the resultant gravitational field can be represented by the usual bowling ball on a rubber sheet type demonstration of a Gaussian dent in space-time.

          9. “The illustration is just to show the motion of the two objects orbiting each other.”

            So it does not show two black holes merging, finally!

            And what should it look like at the instant 2 becomes 1?

          10. After the two objects have completely converged into one no ripples occur at any frequency, because a perfect sphere of constant mass produces no gravitational waves.

            So, the resultant gravitational field can be represented by the usual bowling ball on a rubber sheet type demonstration of a Gaussian dent in space-time. The bowling ball represents the one singularity that resulted from the coalescence of the two black holes.

          11. No, because the changes in space time propagate at a speed limited by c. Your answer describes a time significantly later than the merger. And by that I mean relative to the time scale of the detectable event.

        1. @dan – I agree that Einsteins E=MC^2 that C does not mean “speed of light” – I’ve been saying that here all day. It means “celeritas” a Latin word for just “speed”. A person has to specify what they mean when invoking C in this equation. As you know light velocity CHANGES (slower) by what medium you have it passing through. So it’s not a universal constant as it is dependent on variables of medium type. Even the speed of sound is different based on the medium type. When I say medium I mean the substance or vacuum you have the waves passing through.

          Saying my physics is inside out is not a fair analysis of me. I am a lay person autodidact and never took physics in college. When I post I’m just dumbing down all those lofty convoluted-loanword-grammar complex-syntax scientists tend to use.on us lay people. I agree that it is out-of-box-thinking and non-standard. I agree a pedantic person with a rote physics education would probably seriously object to anything that does not conform to the standard physics dogma – verbatim.

          But since today’s physics is mostly hypothetical or just theory (not caste in stone) what’s the harm in a little informed laymen conjecture? I try to structure my syntax to not sound authoritative and just my opinion. But I fail at doing that sometimes in the heat of debate/discussion. I apologize for that and will try to conform to my own self-imposed standards of debate etiquette.

          My LIGO explanations are sourced from CalTech and Wikipedia. If you don’t agree with something I post specifically chime in and I’ll listen. I’m not so egotistical not to allow myself to learn from others more educated. Just try not to be so general with a complaint. Specificity is the only way we (me) can learn…

          1. ” I am a lay person autodidact”

            Oh fair enough.. I am an idiot, savant. Fortunately I also have multiple personality disorder too so I am 9/10 genius and just 1/10 idiot. :-)

            Any hooo the point I was making is don’t let light’s behaviour confuse you as to what is an isn’t possible, c is just the maximum speed that things in this universe can interact.

          2. @dan – We agree then… with last part of paragraph that is. However, I do not agree that you are an “idiot/savant” as you do not show any signs of that conforming with DSM-IV standards. You may be a genius though as you do seem very smart to me. I may venture a laymen diagnoses of border-line NPD though. You seem to be virtually-torturing the rest of us benighted blokes. Just give us the answers and let us absorb it educationally. I think the chaps and birds here at HaD are here to learn not get into a pointless row with a cheeky bloke. :-P :-)

  16. Thanks for this superb explanation of gravity and gravitational waves! One of the best I have ever seen.

    There is one thing I don’t get, though:

    “Now we know what would happen if the Sun were to suddenly vanish. The curvature of space-time caused by the Sun would spring back and ripple outward.”

    Well, I get that …

    “It would send a gravitational wave moving at the speed of light barreling towards the planets.”

    But how do we know that these waves would move at the speed of light? It is not clear to me from the explanation given.

    Another thing:

    Is the speed of gravitational waves constant or is it dependent on the medium in which it moves? For example, the speed of light called c, is for light waves travelling in vacuum. The speed of light in, say, optical fibres are less than c.

    So does gravitational waves slow down when the meet matter on their way through space?

    1. I wouldn’t be surprised if gravitational waves did slow down as they passed through other regions of high gravity, since space-time at those locations is already warped. Maybe continuing data from the LIGO experiment will help clarify this.

  17. @ Martin Larsen

    Because gravitational waves are actually spacetime waves, they should merge seamlessly with the already existing spacetime surrounding this matter. To keep in balance with the change of spacetime, this matter should stretch in or out a bit,
    Just what is supposed to have happened in the LIGO experiment.

    In this peculiar physics spacetime itself is the medium.

    You almost hit the achilles tendon of GR; the point where the theory becomes untenable, at least that is what I think.

  18. I am trying to get a grip on the difference between the maths, technology and the theory in this discussion.

    Probably it’s ok that I conclude we agree on the theory that the velocity of propagation of light in vacuum is c. And that the path of light is stretched indirectly by mass. This is in line with the LIGO explanation of the “mechanism” of the interferometer.

    In my first post I attempted to separate the experiment from the theory. That didn’t work out. Then I tried to separate the technologie from the theory, that neither worked out for me, although you guys gave a lot of very interesting and adequate information. Thank you for that.

    To clarify my point of view, let me introduce my alien friend Ali. Ali has never heard of GR or MM. We show him the Caltech animation of the interferometer. Somewhat later we are standing next to it. OK, here is the apparatus, there is the switch. Alien guy, what do you see? Hmm.. phase shift. Interesting. You humans must be very fond of these patterns. What do you mean? Well you build this enormous structure to generate them. The scientist that let us in GRRRS and looks very serious straight in those big almond eyes, confusingly rotating up and down. No.. really? Ali ’s tiny lips sputter while he bends backwards: Is this a kind of ancient science museum Sir?? Suddenly his eyes straighten and fire up again. Your’e yoking, you really think that the velocity of propagation of light is in vacuum is a constant of nature? If that were true, how could I have ever crashed on this stupid planet?

    What I mean is that the interferometer is dedicated to the GR and GW. While at the same time it might also be the first instrument precise enough to be able to “hear” variations in the propagation speed of light in vacuum. The fact that both interferometers on a distance of about 1900 miles measured approximately the same “frequencies”, does’t contradict such an observation. Even the fact that such variations coincide with colliding singularities like black holes.

    However to succeed as an experiment; to prove GW’s it depends on the constant propagation velocity of light in vacuum. The theory itself needs the galaxy, Earth and finally the vacuum tubes to expand and to contract and the laser beam to bend.

    However the inevitable consequence from this elastic effect is that the main physical ingredient, the absolute speed of light in vacuum becomes unreal. Because once gravitational waves are embraced as real, our own frame of reference from which we concluded that the speed of light in vacuum is a constant of nature, is continuously pulsing and as such unreliable.

    We lost te possibility to gauge the absoluteness of c in relation to GR. This not only makes it impossible to explain cosmic events adequately. From our own point of view within the universe c in e=mc²(y-1) has become a non absolute parameter which makes it impossible to do the math on the infinity of the energy that nowadays is supposed to be required to accelerate matter to the velocity of light or on black holes.

    It might even produce the opportunity for a particle to gain velocities beyond former c, what is in line with is accidentally measured by CERN some years ago.

    I still think that the LIGO experiment proved that c is an intellectual axiom, not that it’s a fact of nature. My point is that you can’t prove one concept; gravitational waves, with another concept, the constant of propagation of velocity of light in vacuum.

    So for relativists all over the world there is nothing to rave about. Scientist have just deleted the stainless steel backbone of GR, apparently subconsciously.

    Is that worth any tears? GR in its current shape is too mysterious for the most brilliant brains anyhow. We still have the Lorentz transformations to tune satellite signals so who cares.

    The next may sound even more overconfident, but I asure you I am not. I realize very well it’s possible I am so wrong. I just can’t stop writing about it.

    Reading the tale of two elevators. It occurred to me the concept of spacetime already tackles itself within its own mind scape.

    “But we get a different result when carrying out the experiment on the accelerating elevator in space. The elevator is accelerating upward when the photon is released, so it must hit the detector at a lower point!”

    (Quote the article above: a tale of the two elevators)

    Even if the photon is hitting the detector at a lower point, this can only be true before GR entered the scene.

    Suppose the elevator in deep space is accelerating. The first problem is that it takes a force to generate acceleration. In this tale it’s not the Earth’s gravity, because it travels in deep space. It’s a mystery force.

    Some smart professors even introduce an alien who’s pulling a string attached to the elevator, to accelerate it for an instant. Ali read this on the webpages of universities as an introduction to Einstein’s theories. He almost laughed his alien ass off. So it’s hardly a scientific contribution to the understanding of the tale.

    Lets assume the elevator has rockets attached. The only mass around is the person, the elevator, and the rockets. To accelerate rockets shake of mass leaving a trail in deep space. In order to keep both frames of reference alike, the rocket attached to the stationary elevator on Earth is set up to leak the same amounts of fuel in the same time. (which will appear to be quite difficult to calculate)

    To simplify the setup, the rocket only fires (leaks) during the period between the release and the interception of the photon. The total mass of the accelerating person, elevator and rockets and the trail of burned fuel is very tiny compared to Earth, but still infinite compared to that of the photon which has none what so ever. Einstein concluded it doesn’t even have time of it’s own.

    According to GR, the masses in the presence of the photon will curve spacetime and shape the path for the photon to travel in. The photon released within the accelerating elevator follows the geodesics of this curvature. However, the curvature in which it’s trapped alters due to the shift of the centre of local mass caused by the rocket spitting out material.

    This will create a tiny GW influencing the path of the photon. So it’s not clear where exactly the photon will strike the opposite wall. Because the center of mass speeds to the floor of the elevator, it seems likely it will bend downwards. As soon as it touches the wall (one big receiver) the rocket engine shuts down.

    The problem occurs that the mass leaked by the stationary rocket can’t be tuned to be the same as the mass erupted by the accelerating rocket, because the paths of the photons aren’t equal and the difference in length hard to predict. In fact the whole setup has become very messy and dangerously explosive.

    So we have to reduce the unwanted effect of the moving centre of gravity. We enlarge the fuel tank of the rocket in deep space to extreme proportions. The acceleration will diminish but that is not the issue. As long as the elevator accelerates it will tell the tale. For safety reasons we remove the fuel tank from the rocket on Earth. It was just attached to get this story line right.

    You might already have argued that the mass of the rocket elevator and the man within is far too small to produce a substantial gravitational wave or spacetime curvature. So the giant fuel tank in deep space deals with that in one breath.

    In this new situation the laser beam is trapped in the spacetime curvature generated by substantial mass. This time the mass remains roughly the same during the photon’s journey to the receiver. Because space time curvature depends on the rocket-elevator, the curvature will travel along with it. Therefore in this case there is no reason why the observed path of the photon should bend towards the ground. It will go more or less straight forward, exactly like in the stationary elevator-empty-rocket sitting on Earth.

    This implies the person in the lift can’t tell which elevator he is in! Since it can’t be true that the frame of reference physically alters just because the persons in the elevators learned about GR, actually the only way out is to seriously question the theory.

    So I ask myself what do we need this elevators for in the first place?

    To tackle this tale’s hidden mysteries, we have to simplify its setup again. Indeed we don’t need elevators floating in space. That’s because we won’t violate Einstein’s thought experiment when we replace the elevators by a large buildings, (@sofnofthunder) comets, or a planetoids, because we don’t alter the balance between the two frames of reference. However for the same reason we even are allowed to delete both elevators.

    In that case one frame of reference is Earth, the other frame is Earth accelerating in deep space. Although this leads to another unexpected conclusion: Earth is already accelerating towards and decelerating away from the Sun. So what exactly is the difference between the two frames of reference mentioned in the tale?

    This tale becomes even more strange when you realize it led to GR; a theory that is an attempt to translate the observed difference between different frames of reference, while the tale eventually reveals the two frames are already identical.

    Hence, you can’t say gravity is not a force and accordingly introduce a sourceless acceleration, which you conveniently leave to be unidentified.

    Therefore the tale is just a tale with an unhappy ending: it has no theoretical significance what so ever. I am afraid my ignorant mind tells me the same applies to the LIGO experiment. It’s just another detour in pointless spacetime.

    In the meantime, you might have start wondering: Do photons released in both the tales elevators indeed show different paths to the observers? That won’t become clear on such a small scale. We should launch LIGO into deep space to find out.

    I suppose that won’t happen in my lifetime so I searched internet for a explanation what light actually does when it’s emitted.

    A plausible answer is hard to get. I figured out myself that a light emitting source actually screws a beam of light into vacuum. This means that as long as it gains length it remains connected to it’s source. When true emitting a laser beam is like pushing a stick into space.

    Let’s return to the original elevator for a moment. The laser beam sticks perpendicular out the wall it departs from, straight forward through the elevator towards the opposite wall. Because it hasn’t any mass, acceleration won’’t have a grip on it. Therefore it will touch the opposite wall on the same height as it started just like the photon in the elevator down to Earth. Just like in GR!

    You need extremely difficult maths and highly sophisticated instruments to prove Einstein’s theories are right while Pythagoras can prove the theory wrong, that is once you got the key.

    What keeps the planets in their orbit is the law of conservation of energy.

    My excuses for this brutally stupid, far too long comment.

    1. @bastiaan – First thing you need to do is backup, relax, and calmly simplify your thought process here. Diagramming it on paper for yourself will help too. Introducing “Ali” just further confuses the process as he is just an artifact of your personal philosophies and cosmological understandings. The mere fact that Ali can not really exist (in the form proposed) is not pertinent to this discussion.

      Think of LIGO like this: The super-vacuum of the huge 2.5 mile conduit (which is essentially a very long Quonset hut – You can Google Earth it) is lateral or horizontal plane to the arriving gravity waves (GW). It is only to allow the maths to be constant as the LASER needs to have it’s C at 299,792,458 metres per second. That has nothing to do with the incident speed of the GW from another galaxy.

      Yes scientists assume GW travel at or near the speed of light. I am not sure how they arrive at that but I am willing to accept it unquestionably as it sounds logical to me. However, Andromeda Galaxy is 2.537 million light years away from Earth. That means light and GW’s from there have to pass through a lot of vacuum, various atmospheres of planets/moons/etc, and Magellanic gasses (in Andromeda and Milky Way), and stellar corona, etc. So yes C would be very variable from there to here (LIGO). BUT all that is calculable as we can “see” the path it must take. We have Hubble, Keck, Radio Telescopes, you name it. Yes it is a herculean equation they must use but it probably is close to accurate.

      They can also use maths to calculate the incident of gamma ray flashes at the BHs (black holes) site in 2007. They can watch it with T-scopes. So 9 years later they can see/track the two BHs collide. They do the maths and figure out when the GW will arrive at LIGO (probably with a super-computer). Then the 187-mile folded LASER beam is shook at 0.1 to 5Hz making the beam illuminate the “electric-eye” at the end of the conduit.The beam does not hit the eye normally.

      That shaking then happens a few milliseconds later almost 1900 miles away in Hanford WA. Now they now it’s related to the calculated GW as it was not an earth tremor or something like that. I am not quite sure how they “triangulate” that as you need 2 variable angles and a baseline to form a triangle. I see the baseline and “fixed” angles. So I can’t see how the incident angles are variable. Well I guess if you factor in the Earth’s rotation. But the LIGO stations can not move they are stationary. Well anyhow they do it. It’s above our pay-grade to know all the ins and outs. We are not astrophysicists like those two guys on The Big Bang Theory (Raj and Leonard).

      Tell Ali I said “Nanu Nanu” and I need the keys back to my spaceship. Can’t trust those Martians with anything these days! ;-)

      1. Also throw out the baby with the bath water on those elevators in outer space and space-time planes with a gravity sink hole in the middle. Neither one of them make any sense from a layman’s P.O.V. The one (I think from Einstein) is hilarious. You know the one that says gravity is like a ball rolling down a plane to the spiral hole. Jeez! How does that explain anything semantically to a lay person? What is pulling the ball down? Oh gravity is. Huh? So that’s your simplistic explanation for gravity Albert? And this improbable magic elevator. Which way is up in the elevator’s world? I don’t even take the time to read that one as it’s too puerile to me. Don’t get me started with the automobile traveling at near C and he turns his head lights on! OMG!

        1. @ sonofthunderboanerges. Thanks again for your explanation, very educative.

          “The beam doesn’t hit the eye normally.” Ok that is essential to know. Although when the speed of light alters it might reflect on the breaking index of the mirrors, making the laser beam to shift a bit too.

          This triangulation is also interesting. The array of impressive tools used to study the universe indeed has one shortcoming. All are positioned at approximately the same point in space (spacetime whatever) Perhaps this Lytro light field camera now in use by NASA will reveal something unexpected. It allows you to focus afterwards.

          BTW here are the keys to your craft.

          From Wikipedia: Faster-than-light neutrino anomaly

          “In 2011, the OPERA experiment mistakenly observed neutrinos appearing to travel faster than light. Even before the mistake was discovered, the result was considered anomalous because speeds higher than that of light in a vacuum are generally thought to violate special relativity, a cornerstone of the modern understanding of physics for over a century.[1][2]”

          At first the announcement of these faster then light traveling neutrinos was breaking news. Half a year later the OPERA team reported that it was a bad fiber optical cable connector that caused false measurements. This came forward after several replications of the experiment. (These merged black holes won’t split up in a billion years so a redo is out of the question.)

          However in between both announcements scientist all over the world were happily gazing and climbing through the crack in the relativistic prisonwalls and speculated about time-travel. In this very period Ali crashed his ufo.

          So if there are anomalies found in the speed of light in vacuum SR loses ground and alien Ali pops up to be rescued by alien Bli.

          Yes I have read about wormholes; the lawn has plenty. It’s just that the other year I discovered a so far unknown, must be careful with this claim, at least I honestly couldn’t find anything alike on the internet) beautifully simple geometrical relation between the ellips and the circle that perfectly embraces the Lorentz transformation and unites it with Newton’s law of gravity.

          It only falls short to display Einstein’s contribution, the infinite value regarding the acceleration of mass. At the contrary, the geometry shows (perhaps I am too anxious to see it) that there is no room for such infinity. It contains c and is scale invariance, suggesting the speed of light is scale invariance too. Special Relativity is a geometrical theory. Since E=mc² grew up in the same mind scape that produced the tale of the two elevators, I gave my comment on the latter. Einstein is the genius so everybody doubting his ideas seriously must be the stupid.

          Scientist all over the world just claimed LIGO proved Einstein’s GR. That will fortify the walls for a long time. In the near future all living creatures are pinpointed as children of Big mother Bang. In my opinion this “prove” makes life a bit too easy for relativists. In case theoretical arguments fall short they are now “justified” to throw “ mathematical papers on” and supercomputer graphics at an outsider’s common sense. Although personally I can deal with the relativity of the Big Bang Theory, tiny black holes and green meadows.

          1. @bastiaan – I do not believe neutrinos are FTL. I do not believe in wormholes either. If your friend Ali just POPPED into reality like a new quantum particle then how come his anti-particle has not annihilated him instantly?

            Ask your new friend these questions:
            1. How did his culture even notice us here on this tiny blue marble in the outer ring of Via Lactea wth a G-type yellow dwarf obscuring us with it’s photons (i.e. Sol or our Sun)?

            2. None of our artificial RF emanations started over a century ago could have reached any star system that is likely inhabitable by interstellar travelers with he knowledge of these alleged fictitious wormholes and how to survive the event horizon moment. And also Cosmic radiation, asteroids, meteorites, comets, etc.

            3. How could they overcome the Einstein-Rosen speculation on a “speed limit” they would have certainly violated to get here in a typical Earth organic life span? Your travelers must be very old?

            4. How did Ali avoid the abject isolation, boredom, food/water sources in space, fuel source, and what about his reinforcements? How can they be called to come without us noticing? And how long would it take? And no they can not hide behind any of our solar system bodies. We have too many outer-space resources deployed to prevent that ploy.

            5. What ET culture would make first contact with you? Are you some sort of Earth ambassador? Do you have the knowledge of Earth defenses Ali would need to know for his leader?

            6. Where is Ali from?

            7. Could he actually be some sort of alleged meta-physical masquerader with a totally DIFFERENT agenda than what you assumed was true?

            8. And finally ask Ali where he did with my little bobble head doll we keep on the space ship’s dash board of Dr. Carl Sagan???!!! :-)


  19. I’ll just leave this here:



    The video is here, the scale is a little flat so you have to look carefully to see the shape of the curve change, but it is there. https://web.archive.org/web/20060406102213/http://www.aip.org/mgr/png/images/bhmergermovie.mpg

    Grab a copy while you can.

    If anyone has a source for the movie that these stills are from from I’d like to see it because it depicts the singularity spikes better than the video above,

    https://web.archive.org/web/20060406102213im_/http://www.aip.org/mgr/png/images/bhmerger1.jpg https://web.archive.org/web/20060406102213im_/http://www.aip.org/mgr/png/images/bhmerger3.jpg

    Sure it is an animation from ten years ago, but it is still the clearest depiction of the full process that I can find. And please no LIGO was faked on a super computer jokes.

    So anyway after much hot air and monkey poo nobody knew why this, https://hackaday.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/newton_main.jpg?w=800 does not actually show what LIGO measured.

    1. Thanks for the links.

      “So anyway after much hot air and monkey poo nobody knew why this, does not actually show what LIGO measured.”

      Could you please give more insight regarding this last remark? It sounds very interesting. Thanks

      1. The illustration does not show the space-time fluctuations as they really are, but rather the illustrator appears to have been confused by the motion of the two black holes orbiting each other and has imagined the process as if the black holes were boats moving through water.

      2. At best the image above (top of page) only approximates a single frame of the video before the interaction and the wave shapes are both wrong and constant which in reality they would not be. As others eventually conceded the rise in mass becomes exponential up until merger and therefore the space time curvature changes should correlate with this. The post merger waves are *most simply* described as a “wrinkled torus”. See the frames after mid-point of the animation.

        BTW you are the only person who has given me the impression of honesty, maturity and competence in regard to the comments on this page. Some of the people who tried to lecture me displayed a lack of one or all of those attributes therefore I have no confidence in their claims and assertions, hardly an effective teaching strategy if they were sincerely trying to make a lucid point and have it stick!

          1. You may need to down load it, then view it. It only exists on the backup site. Not sure why given the currency of it’s subject. I guess that is “bit rot” for you, you can’t even rely on important stuff lasting ten years on the Internet.

            As a last resort I have a copy of one video, but not the other two which I would like to see. I am busy today, but will try to find the originals elsewhere.

    2. Oh dan, isn’t it fun when you can jump down to the bottom of a list of posts and present information as if you knew it all along? Wouldn’t it be more polite to thank the people you had the conversations with that forced you to learn something new?

  20. After analyzing the elevators tale, I took another look at this quote.

    “what would happen to the motion of the planets if the sun were to suddenly disappear? Newtonian mechanics say the planets would start moving in straight lines the instant the Sun’s gravity was removed. But this would violate special relativity’s cosmic speed limit. For instance, the Earth would not know the Sun was gone for a full eight minutes after the fact. What could possibly keep the planets in their respective orbits after the Sun was gone?”

    Removing the Sun’s gravity? Why not remove the Sun completely? Straight orbits, what was Einstein thinking?

    Newton’s law of gravity is:

    F= G ((m1.m2)/ r²).

    The radius r relates to the gravitational scope of the smallest mass involved.

    Because if the radius would relate to the larger mass involved, any smaller mass would become interactive at exactly the same distance of that larger mass.

    This would make the gravitational scope of the smaller mass negligible, which is of course a violation of Newton’s law.

    Therefore the smaller mass is the first to know about any changes in gravity regarding the larger mass.

    In other words: The planets know what happens to the Sun even before the Sun does. Any changes of the Sun will make them reorganize immediately, although the effectuation on the mass will take some processing time.

    After all the gravitational scope of a planet can be regarded as a property of the mass of that planet.

    Besides that newtonian mechanics doesn’t say at all that the planets will start to move in a straight line the instant you remove the sun(‘s gravity), they will try to form new elliptical orbits according to, yes indeed:

    F= G ((m1.m2)/ r²)

    Like the elevators this is another questionable concept, in my stupid opinion.

    Still searching for a useful application of GR.

  21. Accelerating at 9.8m/s2 means that our speed is increasing all the time and the speed limit is the light speed which we cannot ever reach. Which would mean that as we get closer and closer to the light speed, out time stretches and we become immortal.

    1. I do not think Einstein meant what your “speed limit” implies. I think he was saying that a material object traveling increasingly toward the speed of light would have it’s Mass increased as well. There’s just so much “stretching” Mass can withstand, At some point the Mass would disintegrate. I do not feel that this speed limit applies to invisible lines of force or charge (or flux). Gravity waves would be such a force. But I do not see what could propel them at FTL speeds. I do not know what limits GW either. Only specious speculation and hypothesis can be offered by anyone else.I read some where in an ancient text that the “…Earth hangs on nothing…”‘.

      When the poster above talks about straight lines and such when Sun goes away, he was talking about LEGACY GRAVITY. Using the phrase “Earth knows” is a semantic-error as the Earth (the planet) is not sentient. He was incorrectly using a loan-word (i.e. knows). Legacy gravity is the left-over gravity traveling through space even though the source self-destructed eons ago, In the case of the Sol (our Sun) it would be about 18 minutes for our Earth to still maintain a virtual orbit around it. After that it would be straight-line trajectory until it collides with another heavenly body. Our moon (Luna) would still be in tow as we would still have our gravity. The moon would still have it’s 1/6th gravity and the CF that keeps it in Earth orbit.

      1. “In the case of the Sol (our Sun) it would be about 18 minutes for our Earth to still maintain a virtual orbit around it. ”
        OOPS! I meant 8 minutes not 18 minutes…

        EXPERIMENT: Turn on your water hose in a high-arc. Instantly move it away or block it off from the stream. You still have a legacy stream in the air for a few seconds even though you removed the source of the water.

        The melee the solar system would experience would eventually look like a slow version of billiards after you did the first ball break shot. Isn’t it grand what Newton felt about the universal sentient “design” implied by the converse of this disaster?

        1. @sonofthunderboanerges

          “In the case of the Sol (our Sun) it would be about 18 minutes for our Earth to still maintain a virtual orbit around it. ”
          OOPS! I meant 8 minutes not 18 minutes…”

          You took the wrong direction. It’s not what will happen.

          The Sun has no gravity switch. It is only realistic to assume the Sun would gradually lose its gravity; it’s mass would gradually decline. Maybe real fast but that doesn’t matter.

          The field of gravity of the Sun will contract from the outskirts of the solar system towards the center where it’s stationed. Therefore it will pull back through the other planet’s gravitational fields.

          So all of these fields will at first be informed at the point the furthest away from the Sun. The planets themselves in the middle of their own fields will be informed about the event, well before the gravitational field of the Sun reaches the Sun itself or whats left of it. You can simply picture this wit a few circles.

          Because all the gravitational fields of the individual planets reach at least to the Sun in the original position, the planets are still within each other gravitation (force) Although during the event the probably already correct their orbits.

          Newton’s first law of mechanics says that a body continues to move at constant velocity unless acted upon by a force. The force is still strong inhere.

          Eventually the planets that survived puzzling out new positions will probably be orbiting Jupiter.

          Switching of the Sun’s gravity is a bit like…. If the Sun suddenly becomes a cube, how would the planets behave? Someone can probably find a mathematical model to calculate their orbits, but wouldn’t it go a step too far to subject the entire universe to this cubism?

          1. bastiaan – The thought experiment was just a trip to imaginarium not a real possibility at all. Since it was just magic I could posit the Sun’s disappearance any way I wanted… as I know it will never happen anyway. In my scenario it is it only counts what happens next. I like your idea of Jupiter (and don’t forget Saturn) picking up the slack. They are both allegedly failed stars. So what you say makes sense.

          2. “The Sun has no gravity switch. It is only realistic to assume the Sun would gradually lose its gravity; it’s mass would gradually decline. Maybe real fast but that doesn’t matter.”

            You know, it could lose its gravity really, really, really fast. The black holes in question here lost something like 5% of their total mass-energy (and therefore gravity) on millisecond scales, when that energy was radiated out as gravitational waves (at the speed of light).

            “Eventually the planets that survived puzzling out new positions will probably be orbiting Jupiter.”

            No way. The orbital speeds of all of the planets are way too high. Your best hope would be Mars, at point of closest approach to Jupiter, but even then, you’re ~4 AU away, and moving at 24 km/s. Escape velocity of Jupiter at 4 AU is 0.65 km/s.

            Take away the Sun and without a doubt, all of the planets are unbound.

          3. Fixing moron mistake: obviously the “best case scenario” has Mars at ~4 AU away, and moving at ~24 km/s, and Jupiter’s moving at 13.72 km/s, giving a relative velocity of ~10 km/s. Still way too fast. Saturn’s actually closer at a relative velocity of ~4 km/s, but still way above escape velocity.

  22. Just as with the previous declaration of the confirmation of gravity waves I fully expect this one to be retracted as well, once again without the fanfare that accompanied the initial news. Why? For a start, there was a time differential between the two readings. The speed of gravity, contrary to the theories of relativity, is faster than the speed of light – as in billions of times faster at least. Otherwise the solar system would not exist – torque between the planets and the sun would make quick work of our nice neat little orbits and have everything flinging apart from each other. This is why Newton’s “law” of gravitation has no reference to time, c or speed in it – at the ranges he (and for that matter we) could examine the speed of gravity is so close to infinite that it might as well be considered the same. For more details see e.g. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J3Hoax81rkI.

    1. Wut! The “speed” of gravity in the solar system is that same as everywhere else, there just isn’t vastly massive objects here accelerating at relativistic speeds to *change the value of gravity up and down* on a scale we can measure. You don’t even understand what they measured. It was the change in value that propagates in a wave like manner, at the same speed as light does in a vacuum.

    2. @purplepete – Wow! I had no idea who Wal Thornhill was and this movement he seems to be associated with. I feel somewhat vindicated in having parallel thoughts like them. I always suspected that there was TWO opposing camps and one has to choose which propaganda to choose. I don’t fully believe in either camp as I see “gaps” in both. However, I like Wal’s POV. It makes sense to me. Yes it may be confirmation bias on my part but I am privy to esoteric information that allows me to visualize the philosophical nature of all arguments.

      Here in this thread I see ad hominem and straw-man arguments run amok. Also a tad academic fraud-esque by some by taking Internet citations out of context for their side’s propaganda purposes. Like cherry-picking an Internet article that allegedly “proves” an opponent wrong only to find out the cherry-picking was not even pertinent to the actual argument as components of the citation evidently had nothing to do with the original issue at hand, Like saying in a imaginary archery experiment – it’s difficult hit a moving target but find out the target was actually “static” the entire time..

      Good work purplepete. I am encouraged now. I think I will subscribe to these guys to see what else they come up with.


    3. You’re wrong. The speed of gravity has been directly measured using Jupiter’s occultation of a quasar, measuring it to be 1.06(+/-0.21)*c, completely consistent with the speed of light. It’s been indirectly measured using observations of pulsars to be within 0.2%.

      The previous “confirmation of gravitational waves” was related to primordial B-modes in the CMB, which would detect remnant gravitational waves. It had more to do with confirming inflation than anything regarding confirming the existence of gravitational waves.

      Indirect detection of gravitational waves has existed for almost 25 years now, thanks to Hulse and Taylor.

      You *are* right that naively, you’d expect that gravity would have to be 20 billion times c to actually work. But that’s just being naive. The fact that the Earth and all the planets are moving compensates exactly for the finite speed of gravity. This isn’t magic, of course, this is why Einstein even *suggested* GR in the first place. The guy wasn’t an idiot.

      1. @purplepete

        Thanks for the video. Nice to hear another point of view.

        @ Pat

        I think one should compare theory with theory and not mix them up with modern facts. Moderns facts may ask for new theories.

        It just makes no sense suggesting that the Sun instantly loses gravity. You say that black holes lose mass real fast. Those are still singularities. So what happens to a black hole happens to a black hole. If you can’t explain what happens in slow motion, you can’t explain what happens fast forward.

        Jupiter was a wild guess I admit that.

        All these events are all related to gravity. Newton’s law of gravitation was an explanation of Kepler’s laws of planetary motion. There is no gravity in that though. From a geometrical POV planets don’t even orbit around the Sun.

        Wouldn’t it be possible that Newton 1647-1726 was wrong about the concept of gravity? I am convinced the law of conservation of energy is a much better explanation. Who puts anti-gravitons in his rocket anyway.

        1. Yes purplepete makes me feel less of a “moron” now… :-(

          In Pat’s defense a black hole used to be a star… The Sun is a star…. Either way it’s all hypothetical.

          I like your wild guess… I like your kuiper belt comment… although, didn’t you mean to say the “main belt” where Ceres is?

          “From a geometrical POV planets don’t even orbit around the Sun. ” – Explain please…. whoosh! right over my head… 8-|

          “Who puts anti-gravitons in his rocket anyway.” – Ali does! ;-)
          (And I still want my Carl Sagan doll back… :P )

          Just messin’ around… :D

          1. LOL sonofthunderboanerges

            No I mean the Kuiper belt surrounding the planets. Elliptical orbits have two foci, the Sun is positioned eccentric on one of them. the other is empty. I discovered that the eccentricity of the ellipse and the lorentz-transfromation are geometrically similar.

            ε= √(1-(a/b)²) while γ =1/√(1-(v/c)²)

            Then I discovered that you can define an dynamic ellipse with two circles of equal radius. This method can’t be found on Wikipedia! This ellipses not only reveal the lorentz transformation and unity it with Newtons law of gravity.

            The method also shows (proofs I hope) that SR’s infinity in e=mc² (γ-1) (γ-1)becomes(∞ -1)
            is geometrically impossible. So I tuned e=mc² a bit accordingly.

            The table below shows the comparison between the original and my experimental variant at very high speeds starting at 0,1c

            v…………………………………..(1-√(1-(v/c)²))………………………..(1/ (√(1-(v/c)²)) -1)


            (1-ε) ends at <1. In case the dimensions of the moving entity are accounted for, it should end at exactly 1.

            This shows that the energy within a system is bound to a pre given limitation. Once this limitation is reached all additional energy even infinite amounts of it won’t have any effect.

            Because the underlying geometry is scale invariance, c is scale invariance.

        2. “I think one should compare theory with theory and not mix them up with modern facts. Moderns facts may ask for new theories.”

          Yeah. Wouldn’t want those facts messing us up.

          This is why we can’t have nice things.

    1. No. *The Sun* is the key player. Everything still ends up orbiting the Sun. The gas giants are *perturbations* on that, and the reason that they’re perturbations is that they’re also in orbit about the Sun.

      The amazing thing is how large the perturbations can grow, but that’s because N-body simulations are chaotic systems.

      1. Fascinating indeed. I meant Jupiter is the key player planet. Although it’s a question of proportional relations between all players.

        Newton described proportional relations of two masses separated by distance. According to his law a single mass doesn’t even produce gravity. m2=0 F= G. m1.0/r^2=0

        This should prevent a rest mass form having a gravitational field, and prevent an isolated black hole from being a black hole. So I wonder about those two BH’s merged into one. Does a gravitational field still exist?

        1. “Newton described proportional relations of two masses separated by distance. According to his law a single mass doesn’t even produce gravity. m2=0 F= G. m1.0/r^2=0”

          You’re confusing “force” and “field.” The electric force between 2 charged particles is kQq/r^2, but does an isolated electron still have an electric field? Of course, it’s kQ/r^2. The field is defined as the force per unit charge. Likewise, the gravitational field is defined as force per unit mass, so the field is GM/r^2.

          Randomly plugging things into equations without a solid understanding of the ideas is always a bad idea.

          1. Thanks Pat, you really made clear you are educated in physics. However I always thought that the force of gravitation was to weak to be noticed at an atomic scale and negligible compared to the electric force. Besides that the electric force is about opposite electrical charges which are completely absent in gravitation. (The anti-gravitons came from Ali) So the comparison makes no real sense to me. Sorry about that. Just asked a simple question.

            “Randomly plugging things into equations without a solid understanding of the ideas is always a bad idea”

            You know what, I might be a good idea since you are so eager, to give you something to burn down to the ground.

            A black hole hypothesis.

            By the lack of any environment, a just merged black hole swallows it’s own gravitational field. It collapses under it’s own gravity. However to be able to do so, it must (NLG) consist of communicating spherical layers of mass pressing against one another.

            Such layering would imply that at a certain layer at a given depth, gravity should mirrors it’s direction. From that layer’s perspective, the amount of mass outwards is equal to the amount of mass inwards. This layer would act as a kind of gravitational mirror. All inner layers would produce gravitation in the opposite direction away from the centre of the black hole.

            From the centre matter would be thrown violently outwards towards this turbulent mirror and create a dynamic core. Eventually this core mutates into a central star.

            Lots of planetary nebulas show such a star. (IC 3568 for example) If you look at these nebulas from this perspective, there is a second body exactly where you expect such a mirror to be. The only thing is that these nebulas aren’t black holes any more.

            So why not go even take it a step further? This whole event of merging black holes is actually a star birth, ending up in a solar system.

            Even stranger (and this really is suppose to catch fire) those two mergers that sent there regards with fluctuations of the speed of light, will end up to be our very own solar system, proving time travel is possible after all!

            Have fun.

  23. Sorry for this 0.99c underneath the table. Doesn’t belong there and should be:

    <1,00c …………………………………………………………………………∞-1

    It is ∞-1 indeed. ∞-1=∞ At least that’s what the mathematicians agreed.

    According to SR this ∞-1 is the value for the energy needed to accelerate a particle to the point of the speed of light c.

    Not one of nature’s finest I think.

    Apart from that, the underlying geometry suggests this is only the outcome when the particle doesn’t have own dimensions. Otherwise it is a-1=a Not true of course.

    This looks complicated but it are all really simple calculations.

    Those aside, I just like to ask if you think the solars system can be regarded as a more or less isolated energetic system?

  24. The General Relativity defines mathematically; through of a dynamic geometric differential tensorial model, static gravitational field like the metric tensor of a Lorentzian manifold, representing curvature of geometric four- dimensional entity noted as spacetime, depending of the cuadri-tensor energy-impulse. Of other hand, Einstein conceptually formulated spacetime as quality structural of gravitational field, i.e, a circular definition between gravity and spacetime, also Einstein noted “Space and time are modes in which we think, not conditions in which we exist” and “We denote everything but the gravitational field as matter”, therefore, spacetime is nothing and gravitational field is not a material field but in first approximation an effect of change of coordinates, and definitely a geometric field, i.e. nothing. The mathematical model generates quantitative predictions coincident with observations in high grade of exactitude without physical meaning. The philosophy of the science has intervened General Relativity from two schools: in the Substantivalism, spacetime is defined existing itself, and storing all events, to order of situation and to order of succession while in Relationalism as the metrical relations of coexistence and succession between events. But, “Space-time is still an enigma to science and philosophy” (Lorente, 2006) because “We really do not know what spacetime” (Odenwald, 2015). Of such way, the outcomes of the black box, which is the mathematical model, inside of the context of the dominant scientific positivism, has supported during a century the validity of the General Relativity, that in absence of intrinsic physical meaning, it counterfeits arbitrarily. Due to his dynamic mathematical model, Einstein formulated, from sources of cuadri poles of energy, the formation of ripples in the spacetime which propagate as gravitational waves, travelling in the space. On February 11, 2016, the LIGO Scientific Collaboration announced that they had first detection, on September 14, 2015, gravitational waves from a pair of merging black holes. They say that are waves of the fabric of spacetime, therefore, interpreting them according to Substantivalism, one conventional philosophical conception in dispute with Relationalism. Those waves detected by LIGO truly are cuadri-polar transverse mechanical quantum waves of quantum vacuum a physical medium; they transport energy but graviton is not. (“Those are not gravitational waves”, Alfonso Guillen, 2016)

    1. @Alfonso Guillen – I tried reading most of your papers at: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Alfonso_Leon_Guillen_Gomez but I am still confused as to what is your salient point here. It would help if you commanded American English better. Small things like “I were…” would be better if you said “I was…”. And it’s not “cuadri poles” it’s “quadri-polar” or 4-poles.

      Also when speaking to a diverse audience such as HaD (aka Hackaday), you have to speak to the lowest common denominator. You have to get an American dictionary and really dumb it down severely if you want EVERYONE to understand your point of view. Like Dr. Stephen Hawking talking to Donald Trump about sub-atomic physics. Or in Donald’s case just about ANY deep subject. (LOL)

      I agree with you about LIGO’s work product and it’s relationship to anything Einstein postulated. We are just “babes in the woods” of understanding “spacetime”, gravity, astrophysics, etc. We humans tend to speak in glowing platitudes about our so-called advanced knowledge of such things but really only just scratched the surface of the metaphoric iceberg of hidden knowledge of the Universe. And we may have gotten it all wrong too.

      Can you explain your salient point here using just LAYMAN’S terms? Make pretend you were explaining this to your President Santos. He is smart and went to Harvard but he would not understand what you just posted.

  25. The interesting thing here is that a British university just posted links to research into detecting changes in gravity using a desktop sized detector based on a modified accelerometer with far smaller support strips and preamplifiers.
    Their sensor is claimed to be sensitive enough to detect a moving 10 kilo mass 100 feet away by measuring the effect on the bars.
    The sensor in a basic smartphone can actually (with modifications) sense milli-G acceleration and the older ADXLxxx sensors are ideal for this because their outputs are analogue rather than digital.

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