Social Media Sidebar


Please sign up, comment on articles and bring your friends!

Current poll

PlanetTech is asking:

What do you think about our new web site?

Love it, indeed
Really good solution
Same as old one
The old one was better
This is a new option

Quote of the day

Just because something doesn’t do what you planned it to do doesn’t mean it’s useless.


Thomas Edison

Gigantic space-based test to detect gravitational waves

Posted in Science on 8th Jun, 2016 11:56 PM by AlexMuller

Earlier this year it was officially announced that researchers had detected gravity waves with the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO), Located in the United States. Today, researchers announced a key step in building the next generation of gravitational wave observatories, in space.


In a paper published today in Physical Review Letters, researchers announced that the free fall experiment on the LISA Pathfinder spacecraft was a success.
The Pathfinder mission is a spacecraft that carries two identical 'test masses', small blocks made of a gold-platinum alloy that are situated exactly 38 cm apart. The recent experiment showed that it was possible for these two blocks to be in a constant state of free fall inside the spacecraft.
Launched by the European Space Agency in December of last year, it is currently located 1.5 million miles away from Earth, and has only been operating since March. It is a test mission, designed to show that a larger project, the currently mothballed Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) is possible.
"Not only do we see the test masses as almost motionless, but we have identified, with unprecedented precision, most of the remaining tiny forces disturbing them," Stefano Vitale, Principal Investigator of the LISA Technology Package, said.
By ruling out the other small forces acting on the cubes, that means that in a larger mission, like the LISA mission, researchers could place similar test masses in spacecrafts at different points in space, and by comparing the tiny motions of the cubes, they could detect gravity waves from things like distant black holes or other galaxies.
"At the precision reached by LISA Pathfinder, a full-scale gravitational wave observatory in space would be able to detect fluctuations caused by the mergers of supermassive black holes in galaxies anywhere in the Universe," Karsten Danzmann, Co-Principal Investigator of the LISA Technology Package, said.
Writing on a Reddit AMA this afternoon, Martin Hewitson, a senior scientist with the LISA Pathfinder project said that the eventual construction of LISA could lead to all kinds of astrophysical observations.
"The frequency band that LISA will observe is rich with signals from different kinds of astrophysical and cosmological sources. We will observe the signals from merging black holes at the centres of galaxies, the complex waveforms produced small, stellar mass black holes falling into the supermassive black holes in the centres of galaxies, the almost sinusoidal signals from compact binary systems in our galaxies, and possibly the stochastic ripples from the Big Bang itself. And of course, all those systems we have not yet predicted!" Hewitson said.

Tags: gravityspacegravitational waveLISA Pathfinderphysics

Read original article » Back to category



Recent headlines

  • Posted in Software on 2018-05-26 01:48:47
    From Here to Human-Level AGI in Four Simple more
    Posted in Science on 2018-05-26 01:41:34
    Research Team Builds a Brain Model Neuron By more
    Posted in Hardware on 2018-05-24 04:45:19
    30% Efficiency Solar more
    Posted in Software on 2018-05-24 04:41:49
    Samsung plans AI research centers in Canada, UK more
    Posted in Science on 2018-05-24 04:38:06
    Every 3-5 years SpaceX is adding a decade lead more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-10 01:33
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-20 07:17
Spacex says China is their main competitor for more
Posted in Software on 2013-10-20 06:43
Pirate Bay Browser Clocks 1,000,000 more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-10 02:10
Google reportedly investing hundreds of millions into more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-14 03:13
Endothelial Cells Can Repair and Regenerate Organs, more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Spacex says China is their main competitor for more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Staring at Your Phone Could Be Making You Short more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Oculus Rift virtual reality headset coming to mobile, more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Delivering drugs via nanoparticles to target more

Recent Blog Posts

  • Posted by AlexMuller
    In five years quantum computing will be more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Google partners with Johnson and Johnson to make lower more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Electron holography microscope with spatial resolution down more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Lower cost advanced Nuclear power could dominate future US more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Why Hasn’t AI Mastered Language Translation? more

Login to your Account

Login to your PlanetTech Account here

Remember me

Create a New Account

You just need username and password

The following errors occured:
Verify password:
Remember me