Working been sensitive enough to distinguish the signal



technology and scientific findings are developing at a rapid pace invading and
enhancing all aspects of our lives. Discoveries in astronomy and physics are
essential to understand and observe the creation of our universe. On September
14, 2015 scientists have detected gravitational waves for the first time ever
in history. Almost hundred years prior to that, in 1916, Einstein has predicted
the existence of these space-time ripples that are now called gravitational
waves. Gravitational waves have been present for a very long time, but the
instruments to detect them have not been sensitive enough to distinguish the
signal until recently. Physicists and astronomers describe this discovery as a
beginning of a new era in astrophysics. As a physics pathway student, this
topic is of high relevance for me, as it is strongly connected with the
subjects that I am studying. The instrument used to detect the waves is a
result of an immense amount of work done by physicists, mathematicians and
engineers. Because of their nature, gravitational waves allow scientists to
observe and investigate the universe in a new way. This paper will discuss how
the discovery of GWs will ultimately lead to numerous new opportunities for
research and will help gain more knowledge about our complex universe.

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1.    What is the nature of gravitational waves and how do
they occur?

2.    What instruments are used to detect them?

3.    Why do scientists think that the signal detected by
LIGO is a result of merging of two black holes?

4.    What do scientists predict about the future of this
discovery and its possible advantages for enhancing our knowledge about the

5.    How important is this discovery for the scientific




1.    The definition and explanation of the term ‘gravitational
waves’; Einstein’s prediction

2.    Instruments used to detect the gravitational waves

2.1.  The Laser
Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, LIGO

2.2.  Development of the LIGO
technology and its future transfer to India





source (about the discovery of waves)


Cho, Adrian. 2016. “Gravitational waves, Einstein’s ripples in space-time, spotted
for the first time.” Last modified February 11,
2016. doi:10.1126/science.aaf4041.

This online article is published on the popular and
reputable science magazine on February 11, 2016, the date when first
gravitational waves were detected. It was written by Adrian Cho, a staff writer
for the online magazine since 2005. He completed the Science Communication
Program at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Cho gained his PhD in
experimental particle physics in 1997, while working on the CLEO experiment at
Cornell University.



source (about LIGO)


Abbott, B. P.
et al. 2009. “LIGO: the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory.” Reports on Progress in Physics 72: 1-25.


The relevance
of this report is of high significance for this research project. It is a
result of joint work of many scientists from numerous universities and research
centers in various countries. All the contributors are part of the LIGO
Scientific Collaboration. LIGO is an abbreviation for Laser Interferometer
Gravitational-Wave Observatory. Two observatories were constructed in two
states of the USA over 40 years ago. Their main goal is to detect and
investigate the signals originating from the gravitational waves. The discovery
of the waves made in 2016 is due to these highly sensitive instruments. The
report was written in 2009, which is reasonably current. Another factor, when
choosing this source, was the fact that the authors of the report were directly
involved in the process of the creation and refinement of the LIGO detectors.
The head author of this report, B. P. Abbott, works at the California Institute
of Technology in Pasadena, the USA. He is often the head author of many other
scientific publications regarding the search for gravitational waves, along
with the second author of the report, R. Abbott. Randy Abbott works as a
research assistant at the University of Evansville. Both of the authors belong
to the LIGO scientific collaboration.



source (the book)


Harry. 2017. Gravity’s Kiss: The
Detection of Gravitational Waves. Cambridge: MIT Press.


book was published in the MIT Press, in 2017 by Harry Collins. H. Collins is
Distinguished Research Professor of Sociology and Director of the Centre for
the Study of Knowledge, Expertise, and Science at Cardiff University, Wales. He
was directly involved in the gravitational wave community since 1972. Collins
took part in publishing papers regarding public presentation and reception of
this discovery and he regularly communicated and responded to letters from this
scientific community. In his book he thoroughly describes the entire process of
the detection of gravitational waves, from the moment the signal was detected
by the LIGO instruments to the final decision to publish this news. He brings a
new unique perspective of an active participant of the unfolding discovery, as
he took a large part in it. His observations allow the reader of the book to
get insights of a huge scientific community consisting of more than 1000
scientists all around the globe. This source will, undoubtedly, play a big role
in the research project by providing detailed information from an insider’s
view of the achievements made by scientists and the obstacles they have faced
in trying to interpret and convey this data to the general public.