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WHATS IN THIS BLOG:
Gravity waves……what are they?
• Upcoming talk on Fracking and Earthquakes (by the Gray Nomad)

GRAVITY WAVES……WHAT ARE THEY?
After searching for 30 years, scientists have found and measured gravity waves. This was announced yesterday. Gravity is the pull between the sun and the earth, or the pull between a human and the earth. Einstein one-hundred years ago (1916) published the General Theory of Relativity. In it he predicted gravity waves that would spread across the universe like ripples from a stone dropped into a pond. Except they travel at the speed of light.

A simulation shows gravitational waves coming from two black holes as they spiral in together (click to enlarge or to source, then back-arrow to return to blog).

A simulation shows gravitational waves coming from two black holes as they spiral in together (click to enlarge or to source, then back-arrow to return to blog).

But to create a gravity wave, you need to suddenly shift a very heavy object, such as a black hole. A black hole may be 30 times the mass of the sun, or almost ten million times the mass of the earth, but only 20 miles in diameter, which is mind-blowing. In a black hole, matter is so dense and the gravity force so strong that nothing can escape. Not even light, which is why you cannot see it, and why it’s called a black hole.

So how do you suddenly shift a black hole? You have it collide with another black hole. And scientists predicted decades ago this would be enough to create gravity waves.

But how do you measure gravity waves? Very difficult. Scientists built two tunnels in an L-shape. Each arm was 2.5 miles long. If a gravity wave passes through this detector, the force of gravity would be stronger in one tunnel and compress its length. And weaker in the second tunnel and expand its length. But the change in length would only be the diameter of a proton or less, which is unbelievably small.

The gravity-wave detector bounces lasers off high-precision mirrors to measure tiny changes in length (click to enlarge or to source, then back-arrow to return to blog).

The gravity-wave detector bounces lasers off high-precision mirrors to measure tiny changes in length (click to enlarge or to source, then back-arrow to return to blog).

Despite this difficulty, they were able to use lasers and mirrors to measure the length of each tunnel to fantastic accuracy. Initially, the measurements were so sensitive the detector saw movement due to cars entering the site, and due to earthquakes. The scientists eventually did a costly upgrade in 2014 which removed these local sources.

They started looking again for the real thing in the Fall of 2015. Believe it or not, they saw a signal soon after, in September 2015, and it was the real thing. Two black holes collided and the waves were created at the last moment of the collision. Then the waves rippled across a distance of 1.3 billion light years to reach earth (the nearest galaxy to earth’s galaxy is at a distance of 0.16 million light-years).

Note: you have to have an L-shaped detector at two different locations to ensure the signal is not a local effect. Two separate detectors were built in Washington State and in Louisiana.

TAKEAWAYS:
• The gravity wave signal matches well with the original Einstein theory, and so verifies this theory.
• The discovery is direct proof that black holes exist. And the first observation of binary black holes which merged 1.3 billion years ago (it took this long for the gravity waves to reach earth).
• As one scientist said, “The universe has spoken to us via gravitational waves. Up until now we’ve been deaf.”

• Scientists can look for evidence of gravity waves created during the big-bang theory for the origin of the universe. That was about 15 billion years ago.
• Some scientists say it’s the greatest discovery in their lifetime. The discovery will assuredly mean a Nobel Prize.
• What with the discovery of the Higgs boson last year (click here to read my blog about this), perhaps the scientists are close to discovering God. Then the Christians will smile and say, “But we’ve known him for a long time.”

UPCOMING TALK ON FRACKING AND EARTHQUAKES:
This is a preliminary announcement. I’m giving a talk in Independence, Kansas, on Wednesday 2 March at 6 pm. This topic is of great interest, because most people want to know about fracking as used in shale-gas and shale-oil wells (is it good or is it bad). And also because earthquakes, which may have some connection to fracking, have increased rapidly in Oklahoma and Texas since 2013. RSVP is necessary by emailing me at ian@higgs-palmer.com   Space is limited. (If the link doesn’t work, type my email address into your emailing site).IDP Presenting Fracs

Please forward this blog to folks who might get a kick out of this story. Email or Facebook is fine: just click on the appropriate box on the far right side of the screen.

Comments? Your comments are always encouraging, for me and for other readers. Please add a comment to the Comment box at the bottom of the blog.

 

The Gray Nomad
Probing the practice of Christian believers……

The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament proclaims His handiwork. Day after day pours forth speech, and night after night shows forth knowledge. There is no speech nor spoken word [from the stars]; their voice is not heard; yet their voice [in evidence] goes out through all the earth, their sayings to the end of the world. [Book of Psalms, chapter 19].

Leave a Reply

11 Responses to Einstein and discovery of gravity waves

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  2. Dear Ian, thank you for posting this! Einstein, the ultimate exemplar of creativity, had it right all along… he was such a gift to humanity! Have many of his wonderful quotes in my book. Good luck with your fracking talk. I wish I could attend, am very interested in the subject. Look forward to catching up with you soon.

    • Hi Betsy. I love Einstein’s quotes too, and have some in my books. He certainly had a spiritual understanding of the universe. If you know of or can pull together a group, I’d be glad to come to Santa Fe to give my talk.

  3. As you implied Ian, this is a phenomenal event and the paper is extraordinary in its experimental and theoretical significance. Also, it is extraordinary in its world-wide collaboration … about a 1000 co-authors from many research organizations! Thanks for sending out the notification.

  4. Hi Uncle Ian, I have tried to read about this in a scientific publication and really struggled to understand it. Your blog was easy to understand and very interesting. What a genius Einstein was, and how far technology has come in the last 100 years. Cheers.

    • Albert Einstein was a genius. He rebelled in college: just wanted to study what he was interested in. His first job was in an office which awarded patents. His first research was to explain why tea leaves move to the middle, not the outside, when stirring a cup of tea!

  5. Dear Ian, thanks for the info about gravity waves. You wrote it in such a way that I understood the concept, and how it was measured. This was in contrast to the press reports in Australia, which were quite unclear. Keep up the good work.

    • Thanks for the compliment Leith. I do try to break the subject down, to make it understandable, although this was a challenge in the case of gravity waves. I learnt a lot while writing this blog!

  6. With regard to your comments on the discovery of gravitational waves, I guess I have a different perspective on your comment: “Perhaps the scientists are close to discovering God. Then the Christians will smile and say, ‘But we’ve known him for a long time’.” Don’t you think that if God wanted man to “discover him” by so called scientific methods, he’d have provided a way using that method? I think he expects us to find him through faith, humility, prayer, and good works. Any other way is no more effective in finding God than the tower of Babel was in providing a route to heaven in ancient times.

    • David, thanks for your comment which is insightful. My statement was a little tongue-in-cheek, by which I wanted to imply that many scientists believe that science has replaced God, so they don’t even see the hand of God behind such wonders of the universe as Higgs-bosons and gravity waves. Whereas we believers have come to know God through faith, etc, as you indicated.

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