Friday, February 12, 2016

Gravitational waves observed!

So gravitational waves have been detected at last! The waves were observed from coalescing black holes 1.3 billion light years away. Rating the quotes from the linked Article's taken back to the more recent, though personally distant past, as an undergraduate at the Australian National University about 20 years ago.

Professor Dave McClelland was my optics lecturer. He and his team were heavily involved with designing a Laser Interferometry Gravitational Observatory (LIGO) in outback Australia away from human induced vibrations. Unfortunately the Australian observatory was never built, otherwise it would probably have participated in this observation and enabled observers to triangulate the source.

Despite the lack of an Australian observatory, the ANU team, and CSIRO, have contributed to the design and manufacture of the technology used in the gravity wave detection.

It just goes to show the kind of lead times involved with groundbreaking scientific research, something that certain science administrators would be wise to remember.

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