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SCIENCE IS AWESOME

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Postby Mason on Sat Sep 13, 2008 8:47 am

What we need more of is science.
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Re: SCIENCE IS AWESOME

Postby enframed on Fri Jan 22, 2010 6:23 pm

This isn't new news but it's rather fascinating. Scientists are thinking that the Large Hadron Collider is being sabotaged from the future, they say that what they may discover is so awful that someone/something doesn't want them to find it.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/13/scien ... 13lhc.html
http://www.time.com/time/health/article ... 70,00.html
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Re: SCIENCE IS AWESOME

Postby hellholiday on Thu Feb 11, 2016 1:35 pm

New Horizons flyby with photos of Pluto and now gravitational waves detected? It's been a real good year. The known universe is growing in leaps and bounds.

http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/02/gravitational-waves-einstein-s-ripples-spacetime-spotted-first-time
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Re: SCIENCE IS AWESOME

Postby Cilantro on Thu Feb 11, 2016 2:29 pm

I bought a subscription to New Scientist magazine last year and I'm so glad I did. Highly recommended for keeping up with the latest STEM news. The articles strike a good balance between detailed/informative writing but easy to understand for the lay person. Also, NS seems pretty progressive, in their politics and in their coverage of the new frontiers of research.
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Re: SCIENCE IS AWESOME

Postby lumpenprole on Thu Feb 11, 2016 2:33 pm

hellholiday wrote:New Horizons flyby with photos of Pluto and now gravitational waves detected? It's been a real good year. The known universe is growing in leaps and bounds.

http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/02/gravitational-waves-einstein-s-ripples-spacetime-spotted-first-time


I have a good friend who is a physicist and she's going to give me a more detailed explanation of the awesomeness going on here later. I'll update this thread with it. I'm super jazzed about this.
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Re: SCIENCE IS AWESOME

Postby hellholiday on Thu Feb 11, 2016 3:22 pm

this is what it’ll teach us: that Einstein’s relativity is right, that gravitational radiation is real, and that merging black holes not only produce them, but that these waves can be detected. It’s a whole new type of astronomy — one that doesn’t use telescopes — and a whole new way to view black holes, neutron stars, and other objects that are otherwise mostly invisible. For the first time, we may be developing eyes for examining the Universe in a way that no living creature has ever examined it before.


http://www.forbes.com/sites/startswithabang/2016/02/09/what-will-it-mean-if-ligo-detects-gravitational-waves/#bed29c47269d


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Re: SCIENCE IS AWESOME

Postby Anthony Flack on Thu Feb 11, 2016 3:46 pm

It's not hugely surprising that gravity waves were detected (it would be more surprising if they weren't), but the fact that we have a working detector now will no doubt reveal all kinds of surprising things.
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Re: SCIENCE IS AWESOME

Postby Chromodynamic on Thu Feb 11, 2016 4:01 pm

I'm not ready to pop the cork on the LIGO news just yet, I'm still annoyed by the BICEP results, once it's replicated then huzzah!
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Re: SCIENCE IS AWESOME

Postby lumpenprole on Thu Feb 11, 2016 4:46 pm

Chromodynamic wrote:I'm not ready to pop the cork on the LIGO news just yet, I'm still annoyed by the BICEP results, once it's replicated then huzzah!


Well, it was captured by two different interferometers. If you're talking about a second event, good luck. Events that cause gravity waves that we can detect are not exactly common.
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Re: SCIENCE IS AWESOME

Postby Chromodynamic on Thu Feb 11, 2016 5:08 pm

lumpenprole wrote:
Chromodynamic wrote:I'm not ready to pop the cork on the LIGO news just yet, I'm still annoyed by the BICEP results, once it's replicated then huzzah!


Well, it was captured by two different interferometers. If you're talking about a second event, good luck. Events that cause gravity waves that we can detect are not exactly common.


I'm not so sure about their uncommon nature as the event they captured this first time showed up not long after its serious upgrade - maybe that was just luck though.

EDIT: A lot of the articles posted talk about the rarity of the event but I am skeptical about that, it's a pretty big universe out there.
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Re: SCIENCE IS AWESOME

Postby Anthony Flack on Thu Feb 11, 2016 5:42 pm

Yeah the event was a billion light years away and they detected it almost immediately.
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Re: SCIENCE IS AWESOME

Postby lumpenprole on Thu Feb 11, 2016 6:51 pm

Chromodynamic wrote:
lumpenprole wrote:
Chromodynamic wrote:I'm not ready to pop the cork on the LIGO news just yet, I'm still annoyed by the BICEP results, once it's replicated then huzzah!


Well, it was captured by two different interferometers. If you're talking about a second event, good luck. Events that cause gravity waves that we can detect are not exactly common.


I'm not so sure about their uncommon nature as the event they captured this first time showed up not long after its serious upgrade - maybe that was just luck though.

EDIT: A lot of the articles posted talk about the rarity of the event but I am skeptical about that, it's a pretty big universe out there.



Well, my understanding is that they've knows that this event was going on for a long time, but haven't had the instruments to point at it to see gravity waves. So once this was up and running we pointed it at it.

As far as rarity, I might be wrong, but I don't think we ever observed two black holes in the process of merging. So, it might be not rare in the parts of the non-observable universe, but in the observable universe it has an observed frequency of 1.
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Re: SCIENCE IS AWESOME

Postby Anthony Flack on Thu Feb 11, 2016 7:42 pm

It seems like things wrapped up pretty quickly... 20 milliseconds!

At the beginning of the signal, their calculations told them how stars perish: the two objects had begun by circling each other 30 times a second. By the end of the 20 millisecond snatch of data, the two had accelerated to 250 times a second before the final collision and a dark, violent merger.


Doesn't sound like it was too rare (at least not when you have an observation range in the billions of light years):

Even before the Ligo detectors in two US states reopened for business late last year, researchers were confident that a detection would follow swiftly.


but yes, this is the first ever observation of two black holes merging, presumably because this is the first time we've had the capability to detect such events.

The detector is off again now, but they still have months worth of analysis to do on the data collected so far, so who knows, they may have already detected a bunch of other stuff besides.
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Re: SCIENCE IS AWESOME

Postby lumpenprole on Thu Feb 11, 2016 8:01 pm

Anthony Flack wrote:It seems like things wrapped up pretty quickly... 20 milliseconds!

At the beginning of the signal, their calculations told them how stars perish: the two objects had begun by circling each other 30 times a second. By the end of the 20 millisecond snatch of data, the two had accelerated to 250 times a second before the final collision and a dark, violent merger.


Doesn't sound like it was too rare (at least not when you have an observation range in the billions of light years):

Even before the Ligo detectors in two US states reopened for business late last year, researchers were confident that a detection would follow swiftly.


but yes, this is the first ever observation of two black holes merging, presumably because this is the first time we've had the capability to detect such events.

The detector is off again now, but they still have months worth of analysis to do on the data collected so far, so who knows, they may have already detected a bunch of other stuff besides.



You don't understand. The detector didn't detect the event of two black holes merging. We've been able to see it for quite a while. The interferometer was the first thing sensitive enough to detect the gravity waves coming from it. When we turned it on, we pointed it at the thing we thought would be giving off gravity waves. We didn't turn it on and discover the black holes.

We could see another two black holes merging pretty easy. It's a pretty big event. Again, I could be wrong, but I don't think we've located another one.
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Re: SCIENCE IS AWESOME

Postby Anthony Flack on Thu Feb 11, 2016 8:21 pm

But what they caught on the detector was the last 20 milliseconds of the event, during which the objects accelerated from 30 rotations to 250 rotations per second (which, considering that these objects were around 35 times the mass of the sun, is pretty horrifying to contemplate).

20 milliseconds is such a minuscule timeframe on a cosmic scale (or even a human scale) that I do not believe it could have been a particularly rare event. The unlikelihood would be too great.

We will see soon enough!

(Incidentally, do they have to 'point' the detector at things? Or is it an 'omni', so to speak? Or perhaps it measures in two dimensions so you have a detection plane which sweeps around as the earth rotates? Although in that case, capturing the last 20 milliseconds of an event again would seem rather unlikely)
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Re: SCIENCE IS AWESOME

Postby lumpenprole on Thu Feb 11, 2016 8:31 pm

Anthony Flack wrote:But what they caught on the detector was the last 20 milliseconds of the event, during which the objects accelerated from 30 rotations to 250 rotations per second (which, considering that these objects were around 35 times the mass of the sun, is pretty horrifying to contemplate).

20 milliseconds is such a minuscule timeframe on a cosmic scale (or even a human scale) that I do not believe it could have been a particularly rare event. The unlikelihood would be too great.

We will see soon enough!

(Incidentally, do they have to 'point' the detector at things? Or is it an 'omni', so to speak? Or perhaps it measures in two dimensions so you have a detection plane which sweeps around as the earth rotates? Although in that case, capturing the last 20 milliseconds of an event again would seem rather unlikely)



Well, to be fair, there are other things that give off gravity waves, and when our instruments become better we can detect them in other places.

They don't 'point' them per se. It's really just two laser beams at a right angle. And then you have to have another one on the other side of the planet in order to get triangulation.

I don't really know the math, though, so I don't know to what degree you have to have some idea where stuff is coming from.
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Re: SCIENCE IS AWESOME

Postby Anthony Flack on Thu Feb 11, 2016 8:50 pm

If they have no facility to aim them, they must be 'omni' (or at least have a fairly wide capture) I guess. Because if they were highly directional, being pointed in the right direction for 20 milliseconds out of 24 hours is just too unlikely.
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Re: SCIENCE IS AWESOME

Postby Anthony Flack on Thu Feb 11, 2016 9:10 pm

Live Q&A with an astrophysicist: https://www.theguardian.com/science/liv ... tions-live

"As I understand it, these two black holes crashed into each other a billion years ago, a gazillion miles away in space – and the resulting gravity waves have been hurtling toward us ever since.

Is the arrival of these waves like a one off event? Or is it like the ocean – a constant rippling sort of thing?

Because if it is a one-off event it is a pretty amazing coincidence that all these scientists decided to flick the switch on the LIGO machine JUST IN TIME FOR THESE GRAVITY WAVES FROM A BILLION YEARS AGO TO ARRIVE ON EARTH.

THAT IS EVEN MORE OF AN AMAZING COINCIDENCE THAN PRETTY MUCH ANYTHING EVER!

Or have these waves just been pootling through here the whole time – and if they have, how can we then get the distinct “sound” of the two black holes colliding?"

Katie says: They crashed into each other about a billion years ago and yeah, really far away (depending on how you measure it, somewhere around a billion light years away). And yeah, the waves have been coming toward us ever since (“gravitational waves”, not “gravity waves”, as it happens).

It’s a one-off for that PARTICULAR binary system — the two black holes have merged now and they’re done. But there are LOTS of systems like this around the Universe, and probably many more also happening right now. And if there’s a binary system that hasn’t yet merged, that’s sending us a kind of constant rippling.


Someone in the questions mentions this little piece of info:

there are 2-400 black hole mergers per cubic GPc per year
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Re: SCIENCE IS AWESOME

Postby Anthony Flack on Thu Feb 11, 2016 9:30 pm

Assuming that is correct, and my rough calculations are correct:

Horizon of the observable universe is apparently around 14 GPc (that's gigaparsecs, 3.26 billion light years). That would make a sphere of around 11500 cubic GPc in volume (4/3 * pi * 14^3). So I guess that means there's somewhere between 2.3 and 4.6 million black hole mergers happening per year in the observable universe. That's about one every 10-20 seconds.

One billion light years makes a sphere of around one tenth of a cubic GPc in volume, so I guess we can expect 20-40 similar events per year that are as close as this one or closer.
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Re: SCIENCE IS AWESOME

Postby Anthony Flack on Thu Feb 11, 2016 9:45 pm

Not to say these aren't comparatively rare events - I think a sphere of one tenth of a cubic GPc should contain nearly a million galaxies...? So we're talking about something that happens maybe once per year across 30,000 galaxies.
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