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60 — Gravitational Waves Detected!

2016-02-21. By Kelly.

Fig. 1.    Here is the First Person to spot the gravitational waves. http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/02/here-s-first-person-spot-those-gravitational-waves

Gravitational Waves Detected!

It was the incredible discovery by Ligo's Observatory last week which for the first time collected data on a 100 year old theory of gravitational waves. The idea starts with Einstein's theory of gravitational waves. Gravitational waves form when large masses or bodies collide and form gravitational waves through time. Einstein's mathematical theory of gravitational waves captures the imagination of a scientist called Joseph Weber, who dedicated his research to finding gravitational waves. Unfortunately, Weber's funding was cut and he was unable to finish his work. Weber's work was followed by the Ligo's Observatory system which was designed in the early 1990's. The Ligo system was built and included a series of error checks called injections in which false positives are periodically fed into the system. Any positive signs of a gravitational waves are followed by a rigid protocol to help weed out false positive readings due to system glitches or misinterpreted data.

In September, 2015, a post doc called, Marco Drago, takes his shift as part of the team of researchers working on the Ligo's Observatory monitoring System. Marco observes a gravitational wave and assumes that it is a system injection. However, after following the protocols set up by the observatory and careful investigation, Drago realizes that he is the first scientist to observe the gravitational waves. Drago's discovery comes before the Ligo Observatory System is scheduled to be up and running. This is truly an amazing story of the search for gravitational waves.

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