The Music of the Spheres: The Dawn of Gravitational Wave Science

The LIGO results are among the greatest experimental achievements of all times. Time and again scientists have compared this feat to Galileo pointing his telescope to the sky, offering instead an 'ear' to the cosmos. After the remarkable landmark of detection, the physics community will soon turn into the study of the properties of the sources, addressing fundamental questions in astrophysics and cosmology. A combined numerical and analytic effort to tackle the binary problem is of paramount importance in light of the nascent program of multi-messenger astronomy. The century of gravitational wave science is in the making, and many discoveries are yet to come in the advent of a new era of 'precision gravity'.

Comments: 6 pages. 5 figures. Popular article for 'Mr. Science'. English version. (The Chinese version can be found in http://mp.aiweibang.com/m/u/24871/n)

Similar Publications

This chapter draws upon astronomical observations and modeling to constrain the prevalence of communicative civilizations in the galaxy. We discuss the dependence of the Drake equation parameters on the spectral type of the host star and the time since the galaxy formed, which allow us to examine trajectories for the emergence of communicative civilizations over the history of the galaxy. We suggest that the maximum lifetime of communicative civilizations depends on the spectral type of the host star, which implies that F- and G-dwarf stars are the best places to search for signs of technological intelligence today. Read More


M-dwarf stars are more abundant than G-dwarf stars, so our position as observers on a planet orbiting a G-dwarf raises questions about the suitability of other stellar types for supporting life. If we consider ourselves as typical, in the anthropic sense that our environment is probably a typical one for conscious observers, then we are led to the conclusion that planets orbiting in the habitable zone of G-dwarf stars should be the best place for conscious life to develop. But such a conclusion neglects the possibility that K-dwarfs or M-dwarfs could provide more numerous sites for life to develop, both now and in the future. Read More


What happens to the most general closed oscillating universes in general relativity? We sketch the development of interest in cyclic universes from the early work of Friedmann and Tolman to modern variations introduced by the presence of a cosmological constant. Then we show what happens in the cyclic evolution of the most general closed anisotropic universes provided by the Mixmaster universe. We show that in the presence of entropy increase its cycles grow in size and age, increasingly approaching flatness. Read More


When an object moves faster than emissions it creates, it may appear at two positions simultaneously. The appearance or disappearance of this bifurcation is referred to as a pair event. Inherently convolved with superluminal motion, pair events have no subluminal counterparts. Read More


During its active lifetime a star burns its nuclear fuel and gravitation is held off by the pressure of the heated gas. Gravity should take over once this fuel is exhausted unless some other agency saves the star from such a fate. Low mass stars find peace as {\bf \em white dwarfs} when the electrons settle into a Fermi degenerate phase where the pressure of degenerate electrons balance the gravitational pressure. Read More


In the previous paper (Osmanov 2016) (henceforth Paper-I) we have extended the idea of Freeman Dyson and have shown that a supercivilization has to use ring-like megastructures around pulsars instead of a spherical shell. In this work we reexamine the same problem in the observational context and we show that facilities of modern IR telescopes (VLTI and WISE) might efficiently monitor the nearby zone of the solar system and search for the IR Dyson-rings up to distances of the order of $0.2$kpc, corresponding to the current highest achievable angular resolution, $0. Read More


This article provides answers to the questions posed in the title. Contrary to the most common views, we show that neither the entropy, nor the Second Law may be used for either living systems, or to life phenomenon. Read More


We start with reviewing the origin of the idea that entropy and the Second Law are associated with the Arrow of Time. We then introduced a new definition of entropy based on Shannons Measure of Information, SMI. The SMI may be defined on any probability distribution, and therefore it is a very general concept. Read More


Recently, the educational initiative TED-Ed has published a popular brain teaser coined the 'frog riddle', which illustrates non-intuitive implications of conditional probabilities. In its intended form, the frog riddle is a reformulation of the classic boy-girl paradox. However, the authors alter the narrative of the riddle in a form, that subtly changes the way information is conveyed. Read More


As new concepts of sending interstellar spacecraft to the nearest stars are now being investigated by various research teams, crucial questions about the timing of such a vast financial and labor investment arise. If humanity could build high-speed interstellar lightsails and reach the alpha Centauri system 20 yr after launch, would it be better to wait a few years, then take advantage of further technology improvements to increase the speed, and arrive earlier despite waiting? The risk of being overtaken by a future, faster probe has been described earlier as the incentive trap. Based on 211 yr of historical data, we find that the speed growth of human-made vehicles, from steam-driven locomotives to Voyager 1, is much faster than previously believed, about 4. Read More