LIGO 25% more sensitive


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After being shutdown for almost a full year for an upgrade to make it 25% more sensitive, the gravitational wave detector LIGO has resumed observations.

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8 comments

  • wodun

    Anyone passing near one of the facilities should see if a tour day lines up with their schedule. Great lecture, good tour, and an accessible and down to Earth staff make the tours a great way to spend your time.

    The mountain to the left of the picture is called Rattlesnake Mountain. It has an interesting geologic history and there are great views of it from the LIGO facility, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rattlesnake_Mountain,_Benton_County,_Washington#Rattlesnake_Mountain_Observatory

    Take a guess at what kind of critters they deal with inside the concrete tunnel? Yup, rattlesnakes.

  • LocalFluff

    And even better, the Virgo detector in Italy should get online any day soon now, making it possible to locate the GW sources. Maybe follow up observations will be able to detect optical radiation if the merging objects are surrounded by matter.

  • Cotour

    I have a question:

    Can the operation of the Large Hadron Collider be detected by the LIGO detector?

  • Coutour: Essentially no. LIGO is designed to detected gravitational waves, not subatomic particles. They are two entirely different things.

  • wayne

    Mr. Z., yes two different things but…

    I took Cotour’s question more literally, “detect the operation of….” and assumed more back-story to it; As in, “the LHC operates at a high electron-energy level, and do particle collisions at those high energies also produce gravitational-wave effects & can those be detected by LIGO, old or improved?”
    (I’m assuming every particle constituent/state is produced in a collision, although for an exceedingly brief time, mass, & relative distance.)

    I believe the Math does say those collisions can/do produce g-waves on particle-level distances, but at such a miniscule magnitude as to be totally undetectable with our technology, even with the detector & the source in close proximity.

    It took 2 supermassive black holes collapsing to produce a signal detectable by Ligo, so I would say the answer is “no,” LIGO doesn’t detect anything from the LHC, even if they do occur.

    (Please correct me if I’m mistaken. Good question Cotour!)

  • Cotour

    I was listening to a physicist explaining some of the fears that some had about the operation of CERN and one was that it might cause some form of a black hole situation so I assumed that there was extreme levels of some king of gravity / intense electromagnetic situation involved.

    He also spoke of one of the stated goals of the machine was to see if they could breach between our 3 dimensions plus time into some other next level dimension. Is that so?

    This guy, Tom Horn author of “Abaddon Ascending” was on Coast last night and he laid this all out. https://youtu.be/kb9R6RuhGG8

    What say you? Information or disinformation?

  • Cotour: I do not know if Horn is legit, but my instincts say no. If he was one of of those claiming CERN would cause a black hole than he is definitely not legit.

    Wayne: You are correct. The operation of CERN cannot be detected by LIGO. It needs big events to produce big waves. They have bigger problems with trucks driving nearby, as the vibrations can cause a false signal.

  • wayne

    Mr. Z:
    yepper!
    – I forgot about the truck vibration ‘thang. (and this is why we want these type of detectors networked together, in Space. That, I do recall.)
    You’ve covered LIGO a bit here at BtB, I’m just too lazy to search today.

    Cotour– I only sampled a few minutes of that video. Not familiar with that Guy in particular.
    That being said– unless you enjoy that sorta thing, there’s better, more-conventional material out there.

    As for the LHC– my understanding is;
    particle collision’s at the energy-levels of the LHC, produce for a brief moment, everything we know about particle-physics that is listed in the Standard Model Chart.
    A plasma is created, which is essentially a “soup” of quarks, leptons, higgs-boson’s, neutrino’s, that sorta thing. Very small, exists for an extremely short time.
    It all gets very quantum-mechanical at that point & the speeds involved in the collisions cause relativistic effects on that scale.

    We all know that Gravity creates black holes, and gravity works at the speed of light.
    Black holes have to be a certain minimum “size” to be “stable,” or they don’t collapse into & become black holes.
    At the sub-atomic particle size level, gravity is also interacting with the weak & strong nuclear forces, at sub-atomic particle distances. (like the distance between the nucleolus & the first orbit, something like a “planc-length,” and excuse my brain-fog today if that’s wrong.)
    — subatomic size “black holes” can be created at certain high energy levels, but they are of such a minute size scale, they are inherently unstable & “disappear,” and do not interact with anything much beyond anything close by in our Newtonian-sized-scale world.
    “What happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas,” as far as high energy particle physics at LHC, a big reason designing and building detectors is hard. A lot of these things can’t be directly detected.
    –There’s no way literally “on Earth,” for us to create a black-hole and accidently make the planet vanish into a singularity.

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